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When You Screw Up At Work
Posted By Ron On October 1, 2009 @ 9:00 AM In Business,Careers,Personal Development | Comments Disabled
Everyone makes mistakes but if your boss is like most, he or she isn’t concerned with making sure you feel like you’re in good company. No, the boss wants you to do two things AFTER you’ve screwed up: control the damage and make sure the mistake never happens again.
Damage control is critical after a mistake has been made. Here are 6 steps to help you control the damage:
Don’t pass the blame to another person or department. If you made it, own it. You don’t have to call someone out publicly but if the mistake was the result of someone who works for you, you’re still in charge and the mistake is still YOURS.
NEVER let the boss find out about your screw up from someone else. Communicate what happened as soon as it’s reasonable to do so. Certain circumstances may prevent you from taking this step, but if someone else gets to the boss before you do, his or her opinion may be tainted. It’s in YOUR best interest to get your story out there first.
What are the potential problems that have arisen because of this mistake? How could each department in our company be affected? What are the long term and short term implications? Will we potentially lose customers over this? What is the value of that lost business?
If you made the mistake, offer ways to correct it. Suggesting that you build a time machine doesn’t count. Is there a way to “spin” the mistake into a potential asset? How can you recover from any lost business? What can you do personally to remedy the screw up?
People will appreciate your communication and by taking this step, you’ll soften any blow. When you take the time to own up to a mistake that affects someone else, I believe they respect you more for it.
Do what you’ve said you’ll do and follow through with anyone involved.
There’s nothing as frustrating as seeing someone make the same mistake over and over. Don’t be that source of frustration for your boss by taking these 5 steps:
Apologies and vague promises that, “It will never happen again,” take on a whole new meaning if you have a specific plan to control the damage and insure the mistake isn’t repeated. In the eyes of most supervisors, taking proactive steps to control the damage and prevent the mistake from happening again puts you in a much better light.
Photo Credit loungelistener 
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