How to Acknowledge Your Errors in the Workplace

Don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake; take action instead.
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Mistakes happen. When you can acknowledge your errors, rather than try to cover up or blame someone else for your gaffs, you have a much better chance of learning from mistakes. Granted, the culture of your workplace may dictate how mistakes are handled, but personally you shouldn’t live in fear of making a mistake because that tension will only create an environment in which you are even more likely to fail.

Step 1

Accept responsibility for a mistake when the error is brought to your attention. You’ll gain the trust of your peers and management team. You’ll also set the tone for future open communications in your workplace.

Step 2

Evaluate where you went wrong when you catch your own mistake and then bring it to the attention of your manager instead of hoping that no one notices. When you report the error, you can explain where you made the mistake and bring suggestions for how you can avoid the same error in the future.

Step 3

Listen carefully to the criticism you may expect when you acknowledge your mistake, without feeling anger or casting blame. Instead, remain open to learning a lesson from the experience. Constructive criticism is an important part of learning.

Step 4

Apologize for your error to everyone affected by the mistake and make a pledge to fix it to the best of your abilities. Without making excuses, share your ideas and plans for correcting the error. Provide a timeline for when the error will be remedied.

Step 5

Take immediate steps to carry out the plan to fix your mistake. Once you’ve promised to follow through with the fix, then be sure to do it in a timely manner and let those affected know when the solution is complete.

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