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workplace mistake

The Harvard Business Review recently ran a fantastic article about what to do when you’ve made a mistake, and I found it to be full of insights – including the opening quote:

In her book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, author Kathryn Schulz writes, “Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong.”

Nobody likes to think they are making mistakes, because none of us likes to think we are wrong! How true. We all trust ourselves, our own opinions, and our own decisions.

But the honest truth is that NO ONE is ever right 100% of the time. We are all humans, and we all make mistakes, like it or not.

So the question then becomes, what do you do when you make that mistake? Human nature is often to dismiss it, gloss over the mistake, or just pray that the mistake doesn’t come back to haunt you!

But I think we all know deep down that none of these are the answer.

The Harvard Business Review article suggests 3 actionable steps:

1. Take responsibility.

2. Address what you need to do right now.

3. Share what you will do differently next time.

I am a firm believer that communication, humility and accountability are essential when you make a mistake in the workplace, and these three tips back that up. I hope you read the article for more insight into each of these important steps.