It is true, mistakes do happen. Whether they happen at work, whilst you’re out driving, or at home performing some ill-judged DIY, or attending any kind of awkward social gathering – where there are human beings, the inevitability of a mistake happening at some point, is, well, inevitable…
Yes, it might not be desirable to make a mistake, no one wants to make a mistake by showing the wrong data in an important meeting, or by pressing send on an email going out to thousands of people, but it does happen, and it happens a lot. Human beings err. That’s what makes us human. And, what it also means, is that just because you make a mistake, this doesn’t immediately qualify you as a failure, a bad person or even, an embarrassment.
Because what is the most important thing we’re told about falling down? It’s how you get back up again…
So, today’s blog post is all about how you can learn to deal with your mistakes, particularly at work, and hopefully turn a disadvantage into an advantage.
Yes you’ve made a mistake, ok? It might not have even been your fault directly, but when the buck stops with you and it’s your responsibility to amend the error, the best thing you can do is to own it. Passing the blame never goes down well. It’s transparent and people tend to not respond well to it, especially if they are the ones who are on the receiving end of the mistake.
So, take a deep breath, hold your hands up, explain what’s happened and be honest. 9 times out of 10 you’ll be met with compassion and understanding – and if you’re not? Well, at least a clear and honest conscience is known to get a better night’s sleep…
Wait for it.
Ok, so the mistake has happened, the email has gone, the order has been shipped, the horse has well and truly bolted – so there is no point in locking the gate shut now. Irrational, snap decisions that are made in panic mode will only serve to escalate an already tricky situation, so wait.
Take stock and evaluate the damage and your options – there is rarely anything that happens that cannot be remedied or rectified by a sharp and creative mind, so use yours. Weigh up the true weight of the situation and stay calm, the answer will come to you, and if you approach it with confidence and clarity then everyone else will too. And if not? Well you better dump the body in the river and get on the first flight to Mexico…
Step 3. Sell It.
Every failure is an opportunity (if that isn’t already a famous quote, then it is now) once you have found your solution to the problem, present the resolution and sell the hind legs off of it!
If you live by the old adage that everything happens for a reason, then embrace it. Yes, something might have gone terribly wrong, or not to plan, but try to see this as an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to a greater advantage. A mistake might open the way for an even better idea, or a solution that shows off a new skill set or innovation. Whatever it is, make it work, sell it in, and pour yourself a large glass of wine afterwards – you’ve got this.
So, there you have it, a gentle reminder that everyone makes mistakes, especially under the day to day stresses and strains of a busy working environment – so try not to berate yourself, or your team, too harshly for it, and instead aim to seize a new opportunity from every set-back. Without mistakes, we never learn, so get back up and move on – no matter how many times you fall 😉
Like every busy agency; we have processes in place to deal with any issues. Luckily we have some great clients who know that they can trust us with their brand and support them when they need it the most, so check out some of our latest work here.
And, if you’d like to chat to us about your next project, whether that be a new website design, a re-brand, some fresh new creative for print or digital, or even some help with your communications and social media strategy drop us a line today at either one of our Marlow or Nottingham based offices!