are an unavoidable part of work and life. It's been said that the greatest
mistake you can make in life is to continually fear you will make one. This
celebrated quote states the obvious: mistakes are going to be made, no if, ands
or buts. So don't hamstring creativity or the occasional need for risk-taking by
desperately trying to avoid errors.
Rather, learn the fine art of recovering from mistakes and free yourself
from the fear of taking a misstep.
perspective (aka don't panic.) Everyone makes mistakes and even if its doozy,
you can still recover and move on (look at Bill Clinton or Martha Stewart for
very public examples). Do not hit the panic button; instead collect yourself,
take a deep breath and get ready for damage control.
and forgive yourself. Successfully fixing, or moving on from a mistake,
requires a little self-care. If you're so busy beating yourself up, odds are
you are not going to have the energy to actually fix the problem. Recognize
that you made a mistake, as everyone does from time to time, forgive yourself,
and get on with the hard work of fixing your mistake.
sincere apologies. If you've erred, it's time to make amends. Take
responsibility for the error, apologize sincerely to the offended parties, and
get busy trying to rectify the situation any way you can. Actions always speak louder than words so put
in some solid work before you expect absolution for your error.
again. Don't let mistakes derail you from staying in the game. Hiding out may
be tempting but doing so can make it harder to reenter the fray down the road.
Stay visible, let your colleagues see your contrition and your continuing efforts
to be a team player.
by people. If you've made a habit of doing right by your co-workers, this will
pay dividends when you make a mistake. People are more likely to have your back
if you've treated them well. Similarly, don't abandon your friends in their
time of need, be consistently supportive of those around you and support will
be returned in kind.
You may also find useful advice in the helpful How to Recover from Four Major Mistakes at
Work: Bouncing Back After a Big Screwup.
How do you navigate mistakes? How important is a
sincere apology in smoothing ruffled feathers? Share your thoughts here and on
the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.
by Bradley Eggers
That insight would have saved us a lot of erfoft early on.
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.