As a business owner or manager, you want your staff, customers, shareholders and industry leaders to see you as competent, confident and trustworthy. Therefore, when you make a mistake or wrong move, you may feel tempted to cover it, ignore it or blame someone or something else. However, these aren’t often good options. These are some strategies that may help you when you make a mistake.
You messed up and you know it. Chances are that everyone else knows it too. You will likely feel self-conscious, but stand with confidence and admit that you made a mistake. Only the best, most inspiring leaders will admit when they are wrong.
When you are honest, your stakeholders feel that they can trust you. They want to know that you will tell the truth in good times and bad. In fact, you may find that your popularity and likeability actually increase rather than decrease.
However, you should also share your strategies for recovering from the error. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and consider suggestions from others.
Avoid Excessive Pride
You should understand that everyone, no matter what they do or who they are, makes mistakes. Your vanity, arrogance or pride can make you feel like you don’t have to apologize or admit that you were wrong, but your reputation could take a hit if you don’t.
Also, be understanding when others make mistakes. Remember that everyone has value and start giving out small compliments. Search for things you appreciate about your colleagues and actions that help your company. Promote a positive, learning environment.
Don’t Try To Turn It Into Something Beneficial
You can try to ignore, diminish or cover up your mistake, but your stakeholders know you made it and they likely know the stakes. Do not turn your error into a learning experience or downplay its costs. Accept the blame and its consequences.
Control Your Emotions
You need to control your emotions so you can view all the facts about the situation. With a clear head, you can identify what went wrong and clearly understand the consequences for your business and employees. You should also see why you made the mistake. What contributed to your decision? Finally, you can create solutions to mitigate the consequences and recover.
You shouldn’t fear making mistakes, but you should have a strategy to deal with them appropriately when they do occur. Great leaders are honest and learn from their mistakes.