101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work: Admit Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. When you make a mistake, it is always the best policy to admit it—right away. Attempting to cover up mistakes, indiscretions, unfinished business, and so on does not change the facts, and will only serve to undermine your employer’s trust in you. The truth will always prevail, so just admit the wrongdoing, learn from it, and resolve to avoid that type of mistake in the future. Own up to your actions, face the consequences, and work on a solution. Attempting to cover up even a small infraction undermines your relationships and integrity, and could also prevent the opportunity to fix the mistake and remedy the situation.

Blaming others, making excuses, justifying actions, and ignoring mistakes will only delay their effective resolution and will likely increase any residual fallout resulting from them. In the long run, it is the deception and evasion that will cost you the trust and respect of your supervisor and coworkers, maybe even more than the mistake itself. And if customers and clients are involved, you lose their respect as well. Remember that the mistake you make could have dire consequences for the company, and you may even lose your job, particularly if there is not a swift resolution.

Be careful when attempting to fix a mistake by yourself in the hope that no one will discover you made it. If it is simple enough that you can do it without negative consequences, fine. However, if you make matters worse, the ramifications may also be worse than if you had confessed in the first place and solicited help to resolve the problem.

If you made a mistake and satisfactorily corrected it, you should still tell the boss about it and what you did to correct it. Your admission will help instill a sense of trust and prevent the appearance of a cover up. It will also give him time to make any adjustments if necessary. Letting your boss know you had a problem but that you figured out a viable solution, shows you are a dedicated worker who can recognize and resolve problems. If you successfully resolved your mistake, it presents an opportunity to showcase your creativity and problem-solving skills.

Never unfairly or wrongfully blame others for your own shortcomings and errors. People need to know you are a trustworthy, truthful person who owns up to your own mistakes. Keep your integrity intact.

101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323 Prepared for jhale@cba.ua.edu, Joanne Hale © 2011 Safari Books Online, LLC. This download file is made available for personal use only and is subject to the Terms of Service. Any other use requires prior written consent from the copyright owner. Unauthorized use, reproduction and/or distribution are strictly prohibited and violate applicable laws. All rights reserved.

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