Everyone in business must face mistakes at one time or another. Unfortunately, mistakes tend to affect your clients, prospects, referral sources, constituents, donors, and basically anyone that comes in contact with your business.
The simple truth is mistakes will happen—we are all only human, after all. But knowing that mistakes are inevitable allows you to prepare yourself and your employees on how to deal with a problem when one arises. Because when mistakes do occur, it is all about how everyone responds after the fact. With that said, below you will find four tips for dealing with mistakes from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:
1. Accept What Happened And Apologize Immediately — You can quickly diffuse a situation, or at least make it more manageable, simply by owning up to your mistake. It shows that you are willing to take full responsibility. Once you have apologized, admit your mistake to whomever you may need to. The hardest part of making a mistake is dealing with why it happened in the first place, which is easier to do after you have apologized.
2. Maintain A Positive Attitude — Negative emotions like anger, frustration, and exasperation just complicate matters further. They make it harder for everyone to focus clear-headedly and logically. So when a mistake occurs, pause, take a deep breath, and calm down before making a bigger deal out of a problem.
3. Consult Others Before Dealing With Certain Issues — One common mistake people make is trying to make it appear as though a mistake never happened in the first place. This is a bad idea. After admitting your mistake the most effective way to clear everything up is to consult your peers. Get feedback from your boss or people higher up. Their advice and assistance may prove extremely useful when developing and executing your plan of action to resolve the issue.
4. Develop A Plan Of Action To Avoid Future Mistakes — The first instinct most people have when they make a mistake is to find a quick fix. Instead, your next move should be to find out why it happened and then develop a plan to avoid the mistake from happening again. Doing so could reveal faster, smarter ways to solve similar mistakes in the future.
Remember…mistakes are unavoidable. Your business, not-for-profit or political office consists of people, and people slip up and make mistakes from time to time. When this happens, the best way to proceed is to play it smart and develop a plan to work through the issues.
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