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[Infographic] I Made A Mistake At Work: The Do’s And Don'ts

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Talk to anyone who has been in the workforce for a while, and they will have a list of mistakes they've made over the years. Everyone makes mistakes. The difference lies in how we respond to the mistakes we make. Here are the do's and don'ts for the next time you find yourself in this situation.

I Made A Mistake At Work Do’s And Don'ts Infographic

What You Should Do When You Make a Mistake at Work: 

  • Assess the situation and fix the problem.

  • Accept responsibility and own it.

  • Tell your leader ASAP - even after you've fixed the problem.

  • Conduct an honest post-mortem to diagnose why and how the mistake happened.

  • Make amends. Sometimes all you can do is sincerely apologize to those affected.

  • Make a personal checklist to ensure mistakes are caught or avoided before they happen.

  • Review your plan with your leader on how you will avoid mistakes in the future.

  • Change how you work. Distractions and multitasking are often culprits of mistakes.

  • Give yourself grace as mistakes happen.

What You Shouldn't Do When You Make a Mistake at Work: 

  • Ignore it and hope no one notices.

  • Blame others for the mistake.

  • Let your leader be blindsided by discovering the mistake from one of their peers, even worse, their boss.

  • Chalk the mistake off as a one-time thing and not put in the self-reflection needed to avoid it in the future.

  • Downplay the mistake that it is "not that big of a deal."

  • Rely on your memory to ensure you avoid mistakes.

  • Leave it up to your leader to come up with a plan for your to follow.

  • Keep your working style status quo.

  • Let the mistake hold you back or rock your confidence.

Conclusion: You Can Overcome Your Mistakes at work

If you've found yourself saying, "I made a mistake" at work, all is not lost. You can overcome your mistakes by taking accountability for the situation and developing a plan to ensure it does not happen again. Showing growth and learning from your mistake is precisely what your leader wants to see.

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