Ugh, so you made a mistake at work. It’s embarrassing, frustrating, and humbling. You probably want to sweep it under the rug and hope no one noticed so people don’t think less of you. But if you’re a manager, then chances are someone has noticed. And the truth is that if you own up and fix it the best you can, people will think better of you, knowing that it takes courage to acknowledge your mistake. Here’s how to admit your mistakes at work.
Demonstrate your integrity
If you don’t admit your mistake, people will assume that either you didn’t notice the mistake, that you don’t care enough to acknowledge it, or that you’re too insecure to face it. None of those scenarios make you look very good. But the courage and character required to own up are admirable, and your team will respect you more for it.
Earn trust and loyalty
That courage and character will earn you trust and loyalty. If you lie about your mistake or ignore it, your team won’t trust you because you’ve either proven that you’re incompetent or dishonest or both. People appreciate when you’re humble enough to admit mistakes, they’ll love you for it, and they’ll work harder for you and the team.
No one likes a manager who comes across as arrogant and cocky. And if you never seem to make mistakes or take responsibility for your mistakes, people won’t trust you and they won’t like you. Instead, they like to see that you’re human, that you’re relatable, and you’d be able to sympathize when one of your team members makes a mistake.
Act quickly to acknowledge the problem and try to fix it. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Plus, your employees will start to talk and wonder why you haven’t acted yet. This is a crucial time and when people talk, they’ll start questioning your integrity and your competence.
If you’re in charge, the buck stops with you. Even if it wasn’t you who made the mistake, but someone beneath you, it’s still your issue and your responsibility. Your employees will read that you’ve got their backs and that you support them and they’ll do the same for you. Plus, if no one takes responsibility, the problem will probably never get fixed.
People know when you’re being sincere and when you’re just saying what you think they want to hear, so be genuine when you mention the mistake and apologize. Again, that sincerity will earn you trust and respect, whereas insincerity will earn you distrust, uneasiness, and maybe even resentment.
For more tips on acknowledging your mistakes and becoming a better manager who can inspire and motivate, contact our team today.