who has never … “Screwed Up” at Work?

Work Screw-upWell, Allison Green has written an article entitled, How to Rebuild Your Credibility After Messing Up at Work. I hope that you do not need this advice, but if you do here it is.

When you really mess up at work, you can harm your reputation and relationships with managers and co-workers. Of course, everyone make minor mistakes, but the ones that concern us most are the significant mistakes. If you are lucky, you may have a manager or team leader who is understanding, empathetic and is willing to coach you. Serious mistakes may go beyond the authority of your manager and affect the reputation and financial condition of the organization.

Although it may feel like you are in a hole from which you can never extricate yourself, Allison’s recommendations can help. Three of her recommendations resonate with me but you can also link to the original article.

Here are my top 3:

1. Acknowledge what happened. When you mess up, talking about it might be the last thing you feel like doing. But how you take responsibility for what happened will be one of the biggest elements in the impression it leaves on people. Immediately admit what happened, and don’t make excuses or get defensive. Use words such as, “I really screwed this up” and “I get what a big deal this it.” In fact, the more concerned you seem, the less your boss is likely to feel that she needs to impress the severity of the mistake on you.

2. Communicate. You might be tempted to just keep your head down and avoid your boss, because you might be nervous about talking with her or getting feedback on your work. That’s the worst instinct you can have in this situation. If your boss does have serious concerns about you, going underground will exacerbate them. Keeping open lines of communication and talking to her about the good work you’re doing will help mitigate the concerns that were raised earlier.

3. Don’t panic. When you know you’ve really screwed up, you might naturally panic or obsess about how you’re now seen. But to the extent you can, it’s important to put this behind you mentally, because dwelling on it will often keep you in a tense mental space where you’re more likely to mess up again – the opposite of what you want. Try not to obsess over the mistake too much, and remember that most people who make mistakes at work – even big ones – aren’t fired for them.

Related Articles: Watch Out For Two Important Effects!! and Boss, I Need More Training

Please “Like” and share your comments. Additional training resources are located here.

FREE Digital Course PreviewsChange Management  PRIDE System of Customer Service  Interviewing Skills  Performance Management  ROAR Model of Process Improvement  Superior Sales Strategies  Time Management

James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

Tagged with:
Posted in Performance Management

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 135 other followers

%d bloggers like this: