We would all prefer to be perfect and never allow for mistakes to occur from actions, especially at work, but unfortunately this is rather impossible. As much as we try and give it all from of ourselves at our job, we are bound to do a mistake every once in a while.

Reasons are endless – maybe you are feeling a bit low that day, maybe you are getting sick, perhaps you had a fight with your spouse just before work, or your spouse is unwell and you are worried, maybe your child cries every time you get it to kindergarten, maybe you got into a car accident on the way to work, or just spilled coffee all over yourself just when you were ready to leave.

Actually, the reason doesn’t matter for the outcome of the situation after you have made the mistake at work. What matters is how you approach the issue.

Follow up on your work

The first thing you should do in order to be able to deal properly with a mistake you have done at work is knowing you have made a mistake. Sometimes, of course, it is obvious, but other times you find out later on and that makes the whole situation even worse. To prevent some embarrassment and complications you must be ahead of things and detect any mistakes you have made timely. You could do that by being extra careful, but we advise you to always follow up on your work – not only to check your work before forwarding it, but also to have at least some basic information about what happens after.

Depict mistakes during work

Knowing you have made a mistake implies you must be aware what it is the right way for a task to be done, and it may sound silly, but it isn’t always so straight forwards as one may believe. It is a good idea to have a checklist with the correct manner tasks you do must be performed and if you are unsure to ask a more experienced colleague or your superiors. The above mentioned following up on your work is also a powerful tool for depicting mistakes.

Admit you have made a mistake

Now that you are aware you have made a mistake it is time to admit that, but to whom? Well first of all to yourself – you must come to terms with the fact. Then to the persons involved – those might be some or all of your colleagues and most definitely your superiors. Make sure you represent the situation comprehensibly and provide all the information, related to the issue and still keep it clean and clear. If you have any suggestions upon solving the issue those would be very helpful and will represent you in a better light.

Dealing with the issue quietly yourself, without letting anyone else know is usually not such a good idea, since you may not be successful and eventually the issue might worsen. Do that only if you are a hundred percent sure you know how to remedy the mistake and have the necessary resources to do so.

Take responsibility for the mistake

It is one thing to admit you have made a mistake, especially if you have been caught by someone else and to take responsibility for the mistake. By taking the responsibility you show you are an honest and responsible person. Additionally, it is recommended to try to offer your help for correcting the error and is best if you have some concrete suggestions. Also never use excuses, unless those are of importance for the outcome. Excuses will not help resolving the issue and most likely will make you seem like a wiener who is unable to own its mistakes.