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How to Get Past Making a Major Blunder

Posted by Celene Robert

November 9, 2020

Mistakes are inevitable during a leadership journey, but whether you learn from those mistakes or not is what dictates your success. Successful leaders know how to see opportunities in everything and handle their wrong decisions. Although they make mistakes, they collect invaluable lessons from all of them. It happens from time to time that a leader or someone in the organization has made a big mistake that causes a rift between employees. Therefore, it’s important to know how you can get beyond a major blunder and fix it. If you follow these strategies, it will be easier for you to accept the consequences of your actions and respond accordingly.

Own Your Mistakes

If you make a wrong decision that costs precious resources or hurts employees’ feelings, admit your mistake and offer ways to fix the problem before it gets worse. Leaders must take ownership of their mistakes, plan to make reparations and ensure the problem won’t happen again. Creating an environment that encourages continuous feedback of your team can help you strengthen your relationships with clients and colleagues. Admitting your mistakes can also help you earn the respect of those you lead.

Identify the Reasons for Mistakes

Identify the causes of failure, and work on them together with your team. Your team can provide you with useful insights into what went wrong and how to avoid a similar mistake in the future. Leaders should take time to reflect on their errors, identifying what happened and how.

Learn from Your Mistakes

By learning from the mistakes that other business leaders make at some point in their careers, you can gain the knowledge and experience that you need to pave a path for future success. Failure is a prerequisite to innovation – a business can’t develop a breakthrough product or process if it’s not willing to take risks and learn from subsequent mistakes.

Foster Open Communication

Employees need a culture in which it’s possible and permissible to discuss with their leaders the best ways to solve existing problems. A good leader should listen and learn, because better ideas and approaches are developed through such open communication. In addition, you can avoid costly mistakes if employees speak honestly.

Mitigate the Damage

Leaders should take measured actions to mitigate the damage from their mistakes. Learn from what you did wrong, work on the resolution and develop a plan that can ensure it doesn’t happen again. These actions can help you either resolve the situation or minimize the impact of mistakes. Successful leaders use their previous mistakes as stepping stones for a successful future. They accept full responsibility and don’t expect anyone else to step forward and shoulder the blame.

Find New Opportunities

You need to follow up as often as possible to ensure that you’ve successfully implemented the lessons from past mistakes. A team doesn’t expect perfection from its leaders – team members just want their unwavering attention and smart initiatives. Gaining valuable feedback can help leaders make improvements for a better future. After analyzing what went wrong and why, you can use these analyses to find the opportunities that can help you grow and develop.

Create an Environment of Transparency

Don’t blame, point fingers or deflect accountability if you make a mistake. When you accept ownership for errors made within your span of responsibility, people appreciate you more.

Manage Your Reaction

If you can’t confront or control your emotions, you may find it difficult to communicate the problem and solution clearly to your team. Instead of insisting on being right or blaming others for an error, you should always be sincere in admitting mistakes and taking responsibility.

Communicate Clearly

Clearly define mistakes and seek input from your team on how to move forward. Identify the necessary next steps to avoid further mistakes and delegate those actions to your team. You should also evaluate the magnitude of the mistake and what damage it might have caused.

Create a Plan of Action

Mistakes can often cause various problems that you need to address. First, understand why the mistake happened, then create a process to avoid similar errors in the future. Prepare a plan of action quickly to best approach a problem and figure out the best solution.

Ask For Help

Ask for suggestions from employees, especially if you’re out of ideas. This approach can help you fix a problem faster and boost your employees’ confidence in you. You should also consider alternative viewpoints from employees and accept new information, even if it contradicts your current beliefs.


Celene Robert
Celene Robert

Celene heads up the marketing at Escalon. Passionate about helping companies grow their business, she spends her days finding new ways to bring essential business services to startups, SMBs, and growth-minded companies. Based in the PNW, she’s the proud owner of 8 pairs of Birkenstocks and a sassy, cuddly cat.

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