We’ve all made mistakes at work. Sometimes it’s as simple as sending an email without attaching a document. Or replying all to a group email that should have been more private. Or, maybe it was something bigger—you miscalculated figures that ended up costing your company money or damaged your company’s reputation. Depending on the magnitude of the mistake, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions from embarrassment to shame or fear your career’s on the line. Here are simple steps to putting your mistakes at work behind you.
After your mistake, you probably feel frustrated, embarrassed, self-pity, etc. Fine. It’s perfectly natural to feel those emotions. But after a few moments, it’s time to move on. If you keep dwelling in your negativity, those feelings can snowball into greater and greater angst. And it’s not productive. Instead, go do something you enjoy that might be therapeutic—going for a walk, taking a yoga class, talking it over with a friend, or journaling.
Keep Things in Perspective
When people are upset, they have a tendency to exaggerate their blunder, blowing it out of proportion so it seems bigger than it really was. Most mistakes at work are not life-or-death situations. Be realistic with yourself about what the consequences for your mistake are.
Let Go of Your Worst-Case Scenario
And while you’re imagining consequences, you might as well go ahead and envision the worst-case scenario for your mistake. You might get fired? You might not earn that promotion you were hoping for? Make peace with that possibility and move on. At this point, you probably can’t control other people’s reactions in the scenario, so don’t fixate on them. Control what you can control!
Apologize If You Need to
One of the things you can control is an apology. Don’t make excuses, just acknowledge your mistake, let your supervisor know you’re working to fix it, and move on. If you apologize more than you need to, you’ll make the mistake seem larger than it actually is in their heads, too.
Make a Plan and Be Better
Maybe your co-workers and bosses are doubting you, so use this time to earn trust through your actions. Fix the mistake you made and plan on consistently delivering great work to impress those around you. Remember that one mistake will not derail your career! It’s simply a chance for you to learn a lesson and make a great rebound.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the ways you can improve your performance at work is to make sure you’re in peak physical condition. Sleep well, eat well, stay hydrated, and make sure you’re getting enough exercise. All of these habits are linked to attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. If one is lacking, you’re only increasing the chances that you’ll make another mistake.
For more tips on preparing yourself for the next steps in your career, contact PrideStaff Denver Northwest today.
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