It’s a sentence no one likes to hear, “I need to see you in my office.”
Mistakes at work are going to happen to you at some point in your career. The important part is how you react afterwards. This can be used as an opportunity to truly show your worth and maybe even strengthen your relationship with your colleagues. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this tricky situation.
1. Own the mistake/Be upfront
• This isn’t the time for excuses
• Don’t blame anyone else for their role in the mistake. It won’t help and it will hurt the perception of your ability to be a team player
2. Assess the damage
• Who is affected by this mistake? What are the possible ramifications for the entire company?
3. Offer solutions/Help clean up the mess
• This shows you care and you are accountable
4. Notify everyone affected
• This includes your boss, customers and other employees
5. Don’t dwell on it
• If you’ve built strong relationships up to this point, this mistake should only be a blip on people’s radar
• Once you’ve taken internal stock of the situation you have to let it go or you will start second-guessing yourself, which will affect your ability to do your job and may even cause more errors in the future
6. Follow through
• Touch base with everyone involved to see how they are doing now
Remember to take a few deep breaths and face the music. Having failed at something doesn’t make you a failure unless you let it.
“You have to honour failure, because failure is just the negative space around success.”
– Randy Nelson of Pixar