Everyone is going to make mistakes at work. Some mistakes are bigger than others, but most of them are repairable if you handle them in the appropriate manner. Many times if a good result comes out of the mistake, then you could actually enhance your reputation and make the most of it. Here are five steps to take if you’ve made a mistake at work.
Apologize To The Appropriate People
Most of the time you’ll have to apologize to your boss for a mistake you’ve made. Even if what you did or didn’t do was out of your control to some extent, it’s important to make a sincere apology about it. One thing you can’t do is blame others for it. Apologizing immediately will help your reputation and give you the opportunity to make up for it.
Take Full Responsibility
Even if a mistake wasn’t entirely your fault, it’s never good for your c-level personal branding to throw others under the bus. While it’s usually acceptable to acknowledge external circumstances that may have led to a mistake being made, it still makes you look much better if you take complete responsibility and work toward fixing it.
Seek Opportunities To Do Positive Work
If your reputation has taken a hit because of your mistake and you’ve done the first two steps, the next thing to do is seek out opportunities to prove yourself again. One mistake generally will not drastically damage your reputation, and it can sometimes quickly be restored by producing high quality work again. Of course, negatives generally outweigh positives, so the more positive work you do, the quicker the negatives will fade away.
Let it Go
Dwelling on a mistake isn’t good for anyone. When you’ve apologized, taken full responsibility and continue to do great work, you have to let your big mistake go. It’s easy to continue thinking about the mistake and how bad you feel about it, but chances are others have moved on from it, so you should too. It does no good to continue thinking about the mistake, since it could hinder your ability to move on.
Collaborate With A Mentor
If all else fails, talk with your mentor about the mistake you’ve made and how you can successfully alleviate it. Your mentor should be very tied into your c-level personal branding, so getting advice from them should be very beneficial. If nothing else, your mentor can bring you peace of mind knowing you’ve done everything you can to fix your mistake and help you move on from it.
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