Are You a Mistakes Repeat Offender?
Everyone makes mistakes – we are human after all. But, are you a repeat offender? Do you even recognize you’ve made a mistake? Are you constantly doing damage control?
Deep breath – you aren’t alone.
Here are some tips and guidelines to help you reduce the number of mistakes you are making, what to do when you make them, and how to prevent them from happing again.
- OWN YOUR MISTAKES. The worst thing you can do after making a mistake is not owning it. No one is perfect, people inherently know that although let’s be honest we often expect it. So when you make a mistake don’t try to cover it up, acknowledge it, apologize for it, and skip the part where you make excuses or try to blame it on someone else. When you aren’t an “oops owner” it shows you can’t take accountability for your actions, and it just makes things awkward for everyone involved. Be a LEADER and OWN it!
- FIND OUT THE ROOT CAUSE. If you work in manufacturing, root cause analysis is a term you probably hear all the time, but it can apply to anyone and any industry. Root cause analysis is finding out WHY the mistake happened in the first place so you can prevent it from happening again. Was it caused by operator/human error, a bad process or procedure, poor communication, etc.? If you don’t know what caused the mistake, then how can you make sure it won’t happen again?
- CREATE NEW POLICIES OR PROCEDURES. If you’ve determined that the error is due to poor or incomplete policies or procedures, then it’s time to do some updating. Whether you need to create a new process or update the ones you already have in place, it’s important to document any change that needs to be made.
- You’d be surprised how many times there are mistakes or issues because of poor communication. Once you’ve handled the above 3 steps, it’s important to communicate to everyone what the issue was and how it’s going to be fixed. It shows your employees, board members, clients, etc. that you care about preventing the same mistakes from happening again.
If you make a mistake, don’t freak out. Take a deep breath and figure out if you need to take any immediate steps to fix any urgent issues or fall out. Always make sure you acknowledge you made a mistake and that you will do your best to fix it. If it requires getting others involved, don’t be embarrassed – they are human too – and can often have an outsider’s perspective on why it happened or how to avoid it happening again!
The end goal – one and done and no repeat offenders.