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So, You Make A Mistake

So you fouled up at work. It is not the end of the world, and you are not the first person to make a mistake. What defines you as an employee is not that you made a mistake-but what you do afterwards. Making mistakes do happen at work. Learn to turn it into an opportunity to grow in your career.

What To Do After Making A Mistake?

After making a mistake, it helps to be open and honest about it. Speak to your manager and outline what happened and what ramifications there are. Do not try to hide any aspects you are embarrassed about.A good manager will support you, but he cannot defend you if the full extent of the issue is not known. Mistakes can provide powerful learning opportunities and go a long way towards developing your career.

Make A Recommendation On How To Salvage The Situation Or Reduce The Impact

Once things have settled down, write a report outlining the event, and what you can do to ensure it does not happen again. Start with a clear objective mind. List the actions leading to the mistake. Source feedback from relevant managers and team members on what you could have done better, and what they would have done in your situation.

Identify other workplace issues or pressures that could have caused the mistake. Assess whether your current job responsibilities suit your strengths. If you are dealing with a repeat mistake, you need to acknowledge shortcomings in your performance. Be honest with yourself. Your next step should be to conduct a thorough performance review with your employer. An open, two-way dialogue is essential in turning around performance issues fairly and effectively.

Sometimes, going through the job description together, and in detail, where the shortcomings are, is the most effective and painless way to do this. The worst thing you can do is to shift blame. Accept responsibility for your actions. You will receive more respect from your manager and peers if you do not deflect attention from yourself in this case. Making a mistake is an opportunity for honest and frank discussions with your manager.

It is also an opportunity to raise issues about where you are in the company and the challenges you face. The ultimate goal should be to agree upon any desired changes and to develop a set of key performance objectives that is revisited periodically. Document the plan in detail and make copies for both parties. Remember to include the timing for your next review. Work out a plan together to ensure objectives and responsibilities are clearly outlined and understood.

What To Do For The Boss?

For the employer, this may involve making changes to working arrangements, restructuring the employee's job position, making changes to the teams and/or clients they work on, and providing access to a mentoring or executive-coaching programme. As a manager, while it is important to educate the team member on how he could have avoided making the mistake, do not allow emotions or feelings to show. Your employee is, undoubtedly, very upset about the situation, and raising your voice or showing your exasperation will not result in any form of constructive learning.

The same can be said for letting a mistake slide. Doing so creates a culture in which underachievement is acceptable. Team members, management and tinder performers all stand to lose in this situation. On the other hand, bringing an errant staff member back to his full potential and confidence will build your credibility and draw respect from other staff.

Everyone wants to have a manager who "takes action", rather than one who sits and hopes that problems will go away. Doing so also means you will not lose the valuable experience of that employee, or be forced into a prolonged and costly recruitment process. It also sends a clear message that you are.

What To Do For The Employee?

As an employee, the commitment towards making necessary changes is essential. This means accepting the employer's suggestions for change, and initiating ideas for improvements. Possible options could be participating in professional courses or programmes and writing down your own plan for self-improvement.

One avenue that is fast gaining popularity is executive coaching. Executive coaches analyse your ability and strengths, and work closely to keep your career in shape. Coaches help you unlock your potential, and to focus time, talents and energy on achieving important goals. Mistakes in the office are common enough and are all part of your learning process. With the right attitude and response, you can move on and scale even greater heights in your career.


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