If you think you are beyond making mistakes, think again. Everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t matter how skilled or experienced you are; if you are human, mistakes will happen. Successful people assume responsibility for their mistakes and turn them into learning experiences.
If you make a mistake, find out exactly what you did wrong and determine whether there is a way to fix the problem. Brainstorming solutions increases your creativity, improves your judgment, and enhances your reputation as someone who can come up with viable answers when necessary.
Most importantly, make sure you learn something from the mistake. Determine why or how you made the mistake and what you need to do differently in the future so that you will not make the same mistake again.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you make a mistake:
■ Did you admit your mistake? If not, why?
■ Did you brainstorm ideas for correcting the mistake? If not, why?
■ Did you offer solutions? If not, why?
■ Did you implement corrective solutions? If not, why?
■ Did your solution work? If not, did you look for other solutions?
■ What did you learn from the mistake that will help you develop better judgment?
■ If someone else shared responsibility for the mistake, what did you learn from that experience?
■ How can you avoid making a similar mistake in the future based on what you have learned?
■ Do preventative measures need to be put into place?
■ Are you able to implement changes so that the mistake will not be repeated?
■ Are you able to help others avoid making a similar mistake?
If you learn something from a mistake you make and develop better judgment for handling similar situations, the experience takes on a positive spin. Develop a workable plan to help you avoid similar mistakes and then implement appropriate changes to prevent future mistakes.
Your handling of a mistake impacts how others perceive you professionally. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is important not to blame someone else, overreact, or hide the mistake. If you remain calm, accept responsibility, and offer to help resolve the mistake, others will perceive you as responsible, level-headed, and honest. Your creative brainstorming of solutions also provides a leadership opportunity where a mistake had been.
101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323
Prepared for email@example.com, Joanne Hale
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