Making mistakes and learning from them.

Admit your mistakes – there’s no point hiding behind it, if you have made a bad mistake it’s done, now it’s all about bouncing back.

The ball has been dropped so what to do now?

  1. Fess up. Whatever you do don’t try to shift the blame; the truth will come out better to deal with it now when you know the size of the problem than let it grow and it becomes something much bigger than it is.
  2. Own the problem. It is yours. No-one else’s. Tell the people who need to know about the problem now, apologise and do whatever needs to be done in a positive manner.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up. That road leads to bigger problems, loss of self-confidence, and fear of failure that paralyses your ability and a sense of waiting for the next mistake to come along.
  4. What was the mistake exactly? How did it come about? Was it actually a loss of control or was it something that was going to happen anyway? That sense of failing to prepare becoming preparing to fail?
  5. Now this Armageddon has happened how can you stop such a thing happening again? What practical steps are you now able to make and how will your planning/decision-making/communication look moving forward? If necessary check out your views with trusted colleagues and learn from their opinions.
  6. Move on. The real danger is not putting the issue to the back of your mind and spending time on issues that are live now. There are no leaders or managers that have never made a mistake and the best managerial talent make mistakes regularly – what singles them out I that they use the experience in a positive manner. They move on better informed.

In a year’s time no-one will remember the mistake you just made – today’s mistake, tomorrow’s chip wrappings.

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