Messing up

You will make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. How you react to making mistakes is, however, within your control. Defensiveness, excusing it away, or ignoring it will tank your credibility quickly. Your direct reports don’t expect you to be perfect, but they likely expect you to know how to own up, apologize, and try not to make the same mistake again. Hearing “I’m sorry” goes a long way, especially when it comes from a leader. Not only are you owning your error, but you are modeling for your team that the sky doesn’t fall when someone messes up.

Manager action: Is there something you should have apologized for, but haven’t? It’s not too late. This is a great time to rebuild some of that credibility and strengthen your relationships.

Self-reflection: How do you usually react when you are called out on making a mistake? How can that improve?


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