Everybody makes mistakes: this is as true of our professional lives as our personal. The test of a person’s quality is often less about the mistakes they make than how they respond to them. The fallout from covering up or lying about an error can be worse than the repercussions of the original error itself, and refusing to take responsibility or learn from a mistake is much the same.
As news media seemingly unearth a new industry-rocking scandal every day—sexual harassment, fraud, privacy breaches, discrimination of all stripes, and more—learning how to respond effectively to mistakes of all sizes is essential for any organization, even for the seemingly small errors that are never noticed outside of the company.
Trying to prevent every incident is an admirable, if ultimately futile, goal. We should try to avoid making errors but recognize that sometimes we’ll stumble and mess up anyway. In some domains, of course, avoiding mistakes is more important than others. Health and safety, for example, should be approached with the utmost care and seriousness, as should workplace violence and harassment. Even so, companies are still likely to fumble in these crucial areas. Beating ourselves up for making mistakes helps nobody. It matters more to identify why it happened so that the cause can be eliminated or mitigated.
You’ve probably heard it before, with more responsibility comes more opportunity to make mistakes; however, its also what makes us grow. If companies didn’t adapt and try new things, we would never have new developments and technology. Whether from constant change or repetitive old habits, mistakes are bound to happen. At the end of it all, it’s important to understand that how you handle them says it all.
Looking for more guidance on how to respond to these situations? Download our FREE Guide to Mending Mistakes to help make the effects of an error less harmful. Our guide will provide tips on what you can do to recover from a blunder made at work.
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