Owning up to your Mistakes, by Adam Scholl
We have all experienced those oh-crap moments, instances where we are struck by the sudden realization that we screwed up on a big project, report, or presentation. How do we handle these types of situations? If you are new on the job and find yourself in a similar situation, the most important thing to do is keep cool. Mistakes are simply part of doing business. Believe it or not, the way you handle yourself post-realization is just as important as avoiding the mistake in the first place. By responding to the mistake in a professional manner, you would be surprised how often crisis can be averted, or at least mitigated.
Of course, the best thing to do is come clean as soon as possible. If left undisclosed, things only get worse. This applies even if you don’t think the mistake will be noticed or get back to you. You don’t need to run through the office screaming profanities. Instead, send an email to your boss asking when you can stop by and discuss the matter. The e-mail serves as documentation of the problem, and the face-to-face meeting request demonstrates you’re not afraid to admit responsibility for the mistake. When you bring the issue to your boss’s attention, suggest an action plan on how to address the situation. This shows you’re committed to resolving the problem and that you can think on your feet. Remember, even seasoned business professionals make mistakes. Identify your mistakes, learn from them, and move on!