We’re humans. At this point, we’ve all accepted that we are just that, human. None of us is perfect, so mistakes are really inevitable. That doesn’t mean we have to live in anxiety that we’ll make a mistake and ruin relationships.
In fact, by making graceful mistakes, in other words, owning up, you’ll deepen and grow relationships. So let’s talk a little bit about what that looks like in business.
Making a Mistake Within your Team
If you work in a team, there’s more than likely going to be times you’ll mess up and need some help to clean up. A lot of people instinctively want to sweep it under the rug and try anything to avoid consequences. Why? Because consequences are uncomfortable.
Here’s the thing though, you absolutely cannot grow without being uncomfortable.
Your team will trust you far more if you come to someone and ask for the help that you need. It may be uncomfortable in the moment, but I promise you’ll be better for it in the long run.
Making a Mistake With a Client
It might be even harder for you to come clean to your clients when things fall sideways. You want to appear professional, and like you have your stuff together. It might seem like if you make a mistake with a client, your reputation as a business will be ruined.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, by owning your mistake, talking honestly with your client about it, and showing how you plan to make it right, you’ll build your reputation as an organization that truly cares about their clients.
Building a Plan for Reconciliation
This is the hard part. How are you going to fix things? You can’t simply say sorry and shrug, you need to have a plan to make things right.
First, you need to look at what YOU can do to remedy the situation. Is it staying late to work on the project that was ruined? Is it offering compensation to the client for what they’ve gone through? What can you, yourself, do to help clean up the mess?
Next, is there something that you can’t do but someone on your team could to help? Reach out and ask. It may not be in your power to offer a discount, but it might be in someone else’s power. Your team is there to support you, you just need to ask.
Finally, acknowledge your mistake, recognize where you went wrong and how you’ve learned, and most importantly, your plan to fix it. Showing that you understand what happened and have put thought into learning and growing from the experience, means you are thinking ahead and have their best interest at heart.
It’s never going to be easy, per se, to admit when you’re wrong. But it’s always going to be easier than trying to hide it and being confronted anyways. Own your mistakes allows you to control the solutions and build deeper relationships instead of breaking them.