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What to Do When You’ve Made a Mistake

We all get it wrong sometimes. Often it’s not what we get wrong, but how we handle it that is the true measure of the person. This article gives a great three step conversation to dealing with your mistakes. We suggest you read the full HBR article here or the extract below.



Extract: It’s one thing to hold a committed belief, make plans, or execute a task that only you know about, and then end up being wrong. When that happens, you get to reconcile it privately, between you and yourself. But when you’ve shared your convictions with others, and rallied the troops (or perhaps strong-armed them) to get them on board, and you’re wrong, you’re now faced with an “identity granting” problem. You may have seen yourself as a smart cookie, but if those around you don’t — or they did and now they don’t — the identity that you chose for yourself hasn’t been affirmed by others…. So, before you’re viewed as wrong and arrogant, aloof, or unaccountable, you need to get ahead of the situation. You’ll want to talk with whomever you may have impacted with your decision, including your boss, your team, colleagues, direct reports, clients, etc. (And you probably need to have a talk with yourself, too.)

Each of these conversations should have three parts…

1. Take responsibility...

2. Address what you need to do right now...

3. Share what you will do differently next time...