The reality is we all screw up at work, the only difference is that some of us can hide our screw ups at work while others screw up so royally that there’s not a rock big enough that they’d be able to hide under.
Mistakes at work come in all shapes and sizes and whether you’ve screwed up with a client or with your boss it’s important to know how to recover from mistakes at work. I know that the first thing we all do after making a mistake is to panic and start making up all kinds of scenarios to prove to ourselves that the end of the world is upon us. However, doing this is a waste of time, there’s serious action that needs to be taken so take a minute to read the guide below and find out what it is that you should do, should you ever find yourself in such circumstances.
1. Apologise Straight Away
Let’s say you have a big mouth and your boss is being particularly annoying and unreasonable at a meeting and while you are over there brooding and thinking all kinds of horrible things about your boss, boom! You let something rude slip. Now, in a situation like this your mind usually goes quiet and all you can think about is which escape exit to use, but if you want to save your career and your reputation it’s important to admit to making a mistake straight away. And the way to do that? By apologizing, of course. Don’t waste a minute, simply own up to your mistake and say how sorry you are and how unprofessional and/or evil of you it was to do what you did. Ensure your boss –or whoever it is your mistake has insulted- that you are sincerely sorry and ask what you can do to remedy the situation.
2. Accept the Consequences
Whether we like it or not mistakes are always followed by some type of consequence or another that you are not going to enjoy. However, it’s essential to accept the consequences without complaining at all. Whether your mistake was justified or not do not try to get out of dealing with what needs to be done to remedy the situation. You need to demonstrate your professional maturity and the way to do that is by putting the company’s best interest first.
Even if this means that you have to suffer through endless meetings with your boss or clients, or being assigned a teammate to work with you, try to show your remorse and put your best efforts forward to show that your mistake can be turned around.
3. Turn It Into a Triumph
Turning a mistake into a triumph will require hard work; in fact it may even require working longer hours and putting your life on hold, but until you are out of the woods, it’s important to show that you’re eager to get down to work.
It’s important to turn your mistake around because that’s the only way to show your boss that you are not a liability and that your mistake was unimportant when compared to the end result.
Making mistakes at work is a reality we all need to deal with at one point or another at work but it doesn’t always have to be our worst professional experience. By owning up to your mistake, accepting responsibilities and working hard you can turn your mistake into triumph.