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Everyone makes mistakes. This is often how we learn. How you handle your mistakes is what matters.

Effectively addressing mistakes in the workplace supports your professional image. Resolving issues as soon as possible and learning from them enhances your performance and demonstrates growth.

Choose among these strategies to address mistakes in the workplace.

Analyze Your Mistake

You can follow these guidelines to analyze your mistake:

  • Stay calm as you consider your mistake. Virtually all mistakes in the workplace can be fixed to minimize their impact on the company.
  • Determine potential strategies to correct your mistake.
  • If you can independently take action, do so as soon as possible.
  • If you cannot take action, determine who you must speak with and what to say.
  • Develop a clear explanation of how you made the mistake, what are the possible solutions and what assistance you require to fix it.
  • Present ideas that will prevent the mistake from happening in the future.
  • Express appreciation for the person’s efforts and assistance.

Consider Meeting with Your Manager

You should privately meet with your manager if your mistake results in substantial consequences. Knowing you take responsibility and learn from your actions encourages your manager to trust you with future projects:

  • Schedule a time to sit down, explain what happened, and apologize for your mistake.
  • Be upfront and honest about your mistake.
  • Show your manager you truly are sorry.

Learn from Your Mistakes in the Workplace

Uncover what you did incorrectly, how you can do better next time, and ways to safeguard against repeating the mistake. For instance, you might have been rushing to reach a deadline and missed important project details. To avoid repeating the mistake, you can start projects earlier to have adequate time to submit quality work.

Enhance Your Workplace Performance

Implement what you learned from making a mistake in the workplace. Show your desire to improve performance, maintain trust, and positively impact the organization.

Make Amends for Your Mistake

Sincerely apologize to the employees impacted by your mistake. Taking accountability helps rebuild trust within your team:

  • Share what you learned.
  • Clarify how you will perform differently going forward.
  • Begin implementing the behavior you discussed.
  • Shift perceptions of your progress toward improved performance.

Practice Self-Compassion

Remind yourself you are human and you make mistakes:

  • Fix your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.
  • Treat yourself with compassion to encourage colleagues and coworkers to behave the same way.
  • Creating a culture of compassion supports feelings of psychological safety to learn, grow, and innovate.

Are You Looking for a New Accounting and Finance Job?

Mercer Bradley can match you with accounting and finance job opportunities in Winnipeg that fit your goals, skills, and experience. Visit our job board to apply for a role today!


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