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Welcome to our thoughts, advice and experiences!

How to handle mistakes at work?

Brenda Jameson


“Make as many mistakes as you want... Just don't make them twice.”

Without mistakes you never REALLY learn what the consequences of your actions are. I think you should in a way, cherish mistakes and share them, you could even help others improve their knowledge.

Let’s take a step back though, first things first, calm down!

  • To think clearly you need to remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and reassure yourself that everything will be okay. You need to identify how and where you’ve gone wrong. Don’t go to your manager or team with a problem. Come with a solution. Try to identify two or three ways that you can fix your mistake.

  • Take accountability for your actions. Don’t hide your mistake and hope that no one finds out. Calmly explain the mistake and outline your plan for fixing it. Take responsibility and don’t blame others. Even if it is a group mistake, be accountable for your part in it. Learn from your mistakes and try to create tools and put strategies in place to prevent it from happening in the future. This could be anything ranging from creating and creating your own ‘check-lists’, simply slowing down and taking a second to actually revise your work, asking more questions or even limit the distractions around you.

  • If there’s an area that you feel you need more training in, be open & honest with your Managers & People Leaders – why not ask for more training? I can almost guarantee they will help you with this – companies want nothing more but their employees to be happy and competent in their roles.

  • There is no shame in asking for help, you’d rather be confident in your decision making at work than guess the answer, then worry about it and hope that it doesn’t come back to bite you, right? So, try and nip it in the but before it turns into a mistake, get the training or refresh (as some might say) you feel you might need.

Bottom line – remember we are ALL human and even the best of the best still make mistakes.