We all make mistakes at work, some can be easily covered with a simple CTRL + Z. Others, on the other hand, take much bigger proportions. Managing a mistake at work is similar to crisis management for an institution. There are certain number of steps you can get through for it to not blow up in your face. You can find them in our infographic:
1 – Admit your mistake
Sometimes you can cover it up or say it’s the cat who did it. So you might as well admit it. In french we say: “faute avouée à moitié pardonnée” which literally translates into: Admit your mistake and you’ll be half-forgiven”. If you come forward, you’ll get a lot less problems and screaming than if your boss discovers it randomly.
2 – Be kind to yourself
It’s okay, everyone makes mistakes. Even though you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much. This might lead to you self depreciating yourself and actually diminish the overall quality of your work. You see, if you put too much pressure on yourself you’ll get stressed for every little thing after your mistake and will not be able to take a small risk afterwards. This will decrease you creative & innovative capabilities.
3 – Apologize, but not too much
You made a mistake and it’s normal to apologize. However, don’t overdo it, you might actually make it worse. Apologize once and then focus on repairing your mistake. This is the most important.
4 – Find out where it went wrong
As said, most mistakes are honest ones due to lack of skills or information. So reverse path your mistake and figure what was the turning point. This will highlight the things you need to get better at in the future. You should ask also your coworkers who have an outside view of the situation and can pinpoint elements which seem weird in the process. Most of the time mistakes are maid because you didn’t ask for help. it’s okay to not know how to do something, nobody should look down on you for that. So instead of staying in the dark state that you don’t know how to do it and if someone can take some time to teach it to you.
5 – Show the benefits
Ok, you cant take me for a complete nut head by saying that. Normally, when you make a mistake you tend to keep a low profile. However, we believe that actually highlighting what came out of a mistake is great. Everyone can then learn from it as a team. Most of the time it brings out a certain aspect of our work processes that goes wrong and helps us correct it the best possible way. We experience stuff all the time so making mistakes is part of our routine to get better as a company.