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How to Recover From Mistakes at Work

I'm Asking: How Do You Pick Yourself Up From a Blunder?

We've all been there: You spend a half hour carefully crafting your feedback on a project, then click send too soon and release an email riddled with distracting typos. You call a new co-worker by the wrong name. You miss an important fact and let your team down.

Career blunders are an unfortunate but expected part of the daily grind. Whether we slip up, trip, or flat out fall down the hallway in our most fancy heels, it's how we recover from the mess that leaves a lasting mark. How do you pick yourself up when you've had a major misstep?

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Join The Conversation
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
"Owning it" is a sign of character. I encourage it, appreciate it, and practice it. My signature comment when I screw up is "Criminey! I messed that up!" Anyone who can't own a mistake is immediately the weakest link on any team. Own it...learn from it...and move on.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
How do I pick myself up after a misstep? Gracefully, of course! If you perform your job well, most bosses will let the missteps slide.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Own the mistake, for sure. Then suck it up and find out what you need to do to remedy the situation. I remember once at work...I had put the wrong plates for stool cultures into the anaerobic jar by mistake all night and I had to go back just as I was ready to leave and re-setup all the cultures. I was beyond pissed at myself, but I never did it ever again!
lolanagel lolanagel 7 years
Own it! I've found that the only thing that makes the blunder even worse is trying to -- desperately, and usually unsuccessfully -- cover it up. We all make mistakes. Own it, deep breath, fix what you can, and move on!
Angelica Angelica 7 years
Deep breath. Walk around the block. Cup of tea. Start again.
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