How to Bounce Back from a Mistake at Work


Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Whether it is just a minor faux pas or a major mistake, many of us have moments at work that may not be our most stellar. But when a fall from grace knocks us down or completely out, we need to figure out how to get up.


tips on how to Come Back After a Mistake at Work:


Acknowledge your mistake: As with most situations, repairing your image after a mistake will require you to own up to the mistake. You must be able to acknowledge your behavior, acknowledge how your behavior has negatively affected others, and be able to verbalize it to the people who have been affected.


Examine why the mistake was made: You should be able to engage in introspection and examine why you may have done or said the things you did. Be honest with yourself and others.


Do the work: If your mistakes have come from lack of knowledge or training, begin the work to gain the knowledge or training you need. If there is other work that you need to do, or help that you need to make sure you don't keep making the same mistakes, work on those areas or reach out for help. Whether it is an error that you have made in your job duties or in how you have handled a situation or your interpersonal skills, do the work to improve.


Apologize: An apology is important in this process. Be real, though. A fake apology is a waste of time and further insult to the other person. Another insult is blaming the aggrieved party for some part in your behavior or error.


Take responsibility: Instead of blaming others, have integrity and acknowledge what you did.


Remedy it: Not all mistakes are fixable, but if it is within your power to remedy the situation in some way, you should.


Learn: Everyone makes mistakes, and some of those mistakes are on the job. Use each mistake as a learning experience and a tool for the future, instead of just letting them haunt you. Once you learn, you will be less likely to commit the same error again.


None of us is perfect and all of us have had "oh, no!" moments at work. Acknowledging your mistake, understanding why the mistake was made in the first place, and working to make sure it won't happen again can help you bounce back.