“Mistakes Are Not Synonyms for Failures!”
By: The Energy Shifter, Treashure Banks
“Cicely, can you please explain to me why the location for next month’s event has been changed? Did something fall through with the venue? What’s going on? We hadn’t discussed relocating the venue and we’ve already sent out invitations to the guest with the previous venue information on it.”
Ms. Galloway frantically rambled along as she addressed her concerns about the potential venue change to Cicely. She hands Cicely the spreadsheet.
“Make sense of this for me please!”
Cicely takes the spreadsheet and reviews the location section. As she looks over the document she sighs of relief.
“Ms. Galloway, my deepest apologies. The venue has not changed. When inserting the data into the spreadsheet I must have copied and pasted the incorrect location for the record. I will be sure to correct the error. I’ve actually just spoken with the venue and everything is ok for next month. We have also received feedback from many of the guests reserving seats for the event. Nothing has changed, just a data entry error.”
“In the future Cicely, please carefully review the information to ensure errors are corrected before sending it out to me. Thank you.”
“No problem, Ms. Galloway. I will be sure to do that.”
After reading this scenario I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Anyone could have made that error. Not a big deal.” In reality, even if the error is small, the impact that error could have on your confidence could be detrimental. Listed below are three negative feelings employees have sometimes when their errors are brought to their attention by their boss. From my experiences, I want to share three tips that could assist you in overcoming the challenges of confidence defeat when you find yourself in an error situation.
Emotional Reaction to Error One: You blame everything and everyone for your mistake
Being confronted about mistakes are never easy conversations, but they are necessary. Sometimes your first reaction is to get defensive. In your defense you start to deflect blame. Telling yourself, “if this”, or “because of that”, or “I was just trying to”. The best way to defeat defense is to recognize that a mistake is not a synonym for failure, but an opportunity for growth. You have to hold yourself accountable and reflect on ways you could grow in this moment. Ask yourself, “What can I do to ensure I do not make this mistake again?”
Emotional Reaction to Error Two: You Dwell on the Mistake
The more you dwell on the mistake the more likely you will make that same mistake again. The best way to address the reality of the mistake, but not dwell on the fact it that it happened, is to write it down as a reminder to watch out for it in the future. Add that mistake to a task list and be sure to reference that task sheet before finishing your work. Task sheets keeps you organized and help you minimize mistakes.
Emotional Reaction to Error Three: Being Too Apologetic
Mistakes will happen because you are not a machine. You cannot allow your mistakes to define who you are. You become so consumed by the mistake you walk on eggshells, apologizing over and over again to your leader. Eventually they’ll no longer care about the mistake; they’ll be more concerned about your behavior. Mistakes are great intentions that fall short of excellence. Your ability to recognize, address and fix those errors is representation of your character not that fact you made the error in the first place.
We can all admit to a mistake, or two, or three on the job and we can all testify that we’ve overcome the awkward conversations of correction. You will be challenged on your 9 to 5 daily. Remember the challenge is only a test of your character, the way you overcome that challenge is who you truly are.
“Find purpose in your position and you will discover a fulfilling place in it!” -Treashure Banks
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