Bouncing Back After You Make a Mistake at Work

Professionals at any level, including managers, can make mistakes. But, if you’re in a leadership role, it may feel like it’s harder to recover, especially if your misstep impacted your team.

Luckily, it is possible to bounce back after making a mistake at work. Whether you forgot to secure short-term workers from one of the reputable temp agencies in Painesville, Ohio to cover employee vacations, made a bad choice about how to proceed on a project, or any other kind of error, here’s what you need to do.

Let Yourself Feel Bad, But Only for a Moment

Making a mistake at work can unleash a range of feelings, including sadness, frustration, or embarrassment. Ultimately, that’s perfectly natural, but you need to make sure your emotions don’t consume you, leading them to cloud your future actions.

Instead, give yourself a brief moment to experience your feelings, then let them pass. If necessary, find an appropriate outlet for relieving the stress, like talking to a trusted friend or exercising, to help you move on.

Maintain a Healthy Perspective

When you are upset about your mistake, it’s hard to maintain perspective. Emotional responses can blow things out of proportion, clouding your judgment or leaving you reeling.

But, if the misstep wasn’t a life or death issue, these things can usually be corrected if you act promptly and appropriately. Remind yourself that all is not lost; that the situation is recoverable. Then, be prepared to dig in and get things back on track.

Examine the Worst-Case Scenario

Most mistakes come with consequences. But, it’s easy to assume they will be worse than they probably will be in the end.

To help you most past this, consider what the worst-case scenario actually is, as well as if that outcome is actually realistic.

For example, being fired might be the worst outcome imaginable. But, based on what happened, is that likely? In most cases, you’ll find that it isn’t.

However, even if that does happen, is it the end of the world? Would you not survive? Yes, being fired would be challenging, but most people’s lives aren’t permanently derailed by a job loss. So, in the grand scheme of things, is it really that bad.

By reviewing the worst-case scenario, you can make peace with it, allowing you to take the next step forward.

Make Your Apologies

If you’re mistake harmed others, then it’s wise to apologize. However, you don’t need to dwell on them.

Instead, locate the affected parties, tell them you’re sorry and that you’re working to correct the issue quickly. Then, move on by actually trying to set things right. Don’t stop to justify the error, make excuses, or speak poorly of yourself. Apologize and get on with fixing the problem.

Plan for Next Time

In the end, a mistake can be a powerful lesson. It lets you know that you need to do things differently next time, so use this experience to craft a game plan that allows you to improve your performance in the future.

Then, strive to remain at your best. If you’re usually great in your role, delivering great work can help your reputation recover. You may be surprised how quickly people will forgive, and even forget, if you make sure your future work is exceptional.

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