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Volume 7, Issue 7

Pick Up the Phone After Making a Mistake

Everyone has a story to share about a mistake made in the past. The story is only worth telling, however, if you can show you learned something from that glaring error, writes one leadership expert.

But just how does one bounce back from a big mistake? Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn, recommends three steps to take in a recent blog post for Fortune.

Own it.
You made the mistake. Now admit it and tell the right people. Papas cautions that you need to understand "when to speak, when to stay silent, and who deserves to be looped in." Tell your boss or your board about the situation and how you are handling it.

Mea culpa, mea culpa. You must apologize in order to recover and start to set things right, writes Papas. Be sure to choose the right channel of communication. If an email exchange started the bad situation, don't use email to say you're sorry. Pick up the phone or stop by an office, writes Papas.

Take a lesson.
Whether a mistake is big or small, examine what happened and make notes to ensure it doesn't happen again. "Your bosses need evidence that you... can turn things around based on an objective evaluation of what went wrong," writes Papas.

Remember, too, that not every failure can be linked to a mistake. An objective evaluation can help you sort out the errors from unfortunate events beyond your control.

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, February 13, 2017 issue.

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