Have you made a mistake recently? Was it a small issue that was easily fixed and barely noticed or was it a big problem that not only had significant impact on your team, your clients/customers and your organization but also resulted in a considerable loss of time, money and reputation?
When you discover that you have made a mistake be it large or small, you feel angry at yourself, doubtful about your abilities, fearful of the consequences and uncertain about how to handle it. Be kind and compassionate with yourself, recognize that you are still great at what you do, overcome your fear by focusing on how to fix the mistake and deal with your uncertainty on how to handle it by taking these three steps calmly and confidently.
Step 1 – Mend the Mistake – Before you can fix a mistake, you need to admit that there has been a mistake as quickly as possible. Timing, information and communication are critical. Take responsibility and avoid procrastinating or pretending that things are not that bad. Gather as much information as possible relating to the mistake. Communicate with everyone who needs to know about the mistake.
Step 2 – Manage the Mistake – Create a solution to fix the mistake. Develop a strategy to implement the solution. Communicate your solution and implementation strategy to everyone involved. Get any approvals that are required. Implement the solution as quickly as possible. Remember time is money and mistakes can ruin or restore reputations.
Step 3 – Move on from the Mistake – Often it is harder to move on from the mistake than to admit it, discover it or repair it. Identify and document what you have learned from the mistake and what you can do to avoid a repeat mistake. Forgive yourself, ask others for forgiveness and give yourself a time limit to let go of the mistake. Then move on.
Mistakes are the stepping-stones to success. They give you the chance to grow and learn.