Mistakes happen. At some time or other, being human, we may commit a blunder. The question is how to respond after it occurs. Here are some tips.

1. Determine the severity of the mistake

Try to figure out what the impact of your mistake is going to be, the consequences, both direct and indirect. This will help you to determine what you need to do to fix the situation. It will also show your supervisor your dedication to fixing the problem.

One example of a broader impact stemming from a mistake could be negative press or a negative reaction to the company because of it. Something like this might result from an email mistakenly sent to a whole group of people rather than just the one person it was intended for.

2. Talk to your supervisor right away

Talk to your supervisor privately. Stay calm. The only way to confront the situation is by thinking clearly and deliberately.

Explain exactly what happened—what the mistake was—and who might be affected by it.

Let your boss know that the situation needs immediate attention, and also let him know if there is anything that needs to be done right away to prevent any further problems.

3. Take responsibility

Admit that you made an error. Trying to shift the blame, downplay it, or be defensive about it will only make matters worse and will probably make your boss think less of you.

Apologize. Don’t make excuses. Let your supervisor know you will take whatever action is needed to try and correct the problem.

4. Take the lead in fixing the mistake

Since you made the mistake, it is your responsibility to do whatever you can to make it right.

Put together a plan in consultation with your supervisor. Ask your supervisor for guidance in how to handle the problem. Be open to constructive criticism and to recommendations for handling the problem. You not only need to fix the error, but take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

You also need to work to rebuild trust with your supervisor. To do this you have to go above and beyond what is required, to show you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. This may mean working overtime or taking on extra work.

5. Record what you’ve learned

Document the lessons you’ve learned from the incident. You have to show your supervisor that you are trying to improve by examining what happened and what you learned from it.

At Winston Resources, we care about our job candidates, our results and our relationships. We take the time to get to know each one of our candidates, enabling us to make better matches with employers. We treat our people with respect, and establish long-term relationships. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you.

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