Daily Archives: June 25, 2008

3 Reasons to Own Up to Your Mistakes

You’ve probably made a mistake at work, because we’re all human, and mistakes happen, whether big or small. But how you deal with your blooper moment can set you apart from others. Here are three reasons why you should admit your mistakes at work.

You’ll be better off. When you own up to your mistake, you can learn from it, put it behind you, and then move on. Telling the truth about your error will show others that you’re mature and professional, and they’ll view you as trustworthy. Taking responsibility for your actions is better than beating yourself up, or trying to cover up a mistake.

You can fix the mistake. If you make a mistake and admit it, you can create a plan with the help from others to figure out how you can correct it. Someone else may have made a similar error in the past and be able to guide you through a solution. Even though you made a mistake, admitting it and seeking counsel on how to correct it will show that you’re willing to do what it takes to ensure the same mistake won’t happen again.

Avoiding conflict only makes things worse. When you avoid conflict, lie about a mistake, or blame it on someone else, it can come back 10 times worse. Chances are, someone will find out what happened, and then you’ll have to face the consequences of escalating what may have been a small issue in addition to making the mistake itself to begin with. Consequences for covering up a mistake could be as harsh as getting fired, depending on the severity of the situation.

After making a mistake, your first impulse may be to forget it in hopes that it’ll go away. But the right choice is to admit your error, learn from your mistake, and take steps to change your process, behavior, or attitude.