Damage Control

You can bounce back from an office blunder

Face it, you’ve goofed! As a result, you’ve lost an important account or a major project has taken a hit. Is there a way to wiggle out of the hot seat and not get burned? You bet.

“Don’t view your mistake as a weakness,” advises Diane Harvey, founder and director of PrimeSkills Inc., a skills training program in Stone Mountain, Georgia. “Your ability to bounce back from mistakes only reinforces your professionalism. How you handle the mistake can have a greater impact on your reputation than the actual error itself.” Harvey offers the following suggestions to recover from a major screwup:

Take responsibility.
Admitting your mistake will earn you more respect than trying to cover it up or pointing the finger at someone else. Apologize and work to ensure that it won’t happen again. .

Fix the mistake at your expense.
If repairing your blunder requires overtime or the purchase of new materials, pick up the tab. Absorbing the costs of repairing your faux pas can help you communicate the sincerity of your apology. .

Keep a positive attitude.
Don’t associate your mistakes with your skills or abilities. Instead, take a proactive approach by discovering ways to correct the situation and move forward. .

Use humor as a stress-buster
Some minor mistakes may actually be funny. If you can offer a friendly one liner to relieve the tension, give it a shot. .

Look for the lesson
Office blunders offer the perfect opportunity to learn something new. By determining what went wrong, you can help to ensure the success of future projects.

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