Jump Right Back Into The Situation And Tackle It, Whenever You Make A Mistake

As we all know, we only try working towards perfection because no one is perfect. We’ve all made mistakes at work one way or the other. But how we react to those mistakes, and mostly, how we deal with the people who point out our mistakes is the bone of contention.

Assume this situation:
One of your company’s biggest clients calls your boss to complain about a recent mistake you made. The client even went to the extent of telling your boss to fire you. How would you handle this situation?

Of course, most people will be so embarrassed and humiliated, that they’ll hide from that client for the rest of their careers. Some will become so watchful that they’ll deny their mistake to the client, their boss, and anyone who will listen.

Some people will fully acknowledge the mistake and then spend days scrubbing through everything they’ve done with this client to find exactly where and why they made that mistake. Still others will go a laissez-faire (let do what they choose) route, thinking ‘if I can’t make this right, I guess I can just go work somewhere else.’

Meanwhile, blame will be the preferred coping mechanism for others; sure a mistake got made, but it wasn’t their fault and it was out of their control. Anxiety will plague a number of folks; it’s not uncommon to see them contemplating  for hours or days about the myriad ways their career will be derailed by this mistake.

Currently, there are two really interesting things about all of these various responses:
  • First, though these responses aren’t great, about 79% of people will employ one or more of them. 
  • Secondly, is that not one of those responses actually takes a single step towards solving the problem or improving the situation with the customer.

A remarkably response would be to personally visit that client and to apologize face-to-face so they can see how sincerely bad you feel about this. It sounds painful, and maybe it is for a few minutes, but it’s also likely to be the most successful approach for your career. But here’s the really big lesson; Its discovered that people who want to visit the resentful client are 42% more likely to love their job!

Reasons why the ‘active’ approach (jumping back into the situation and visiting the client) is so much more successful:

  • Firstly, as mentioned, hiding, denying, ruminating, blaming, etc. don’t do anything to fix the issue with the customer. Visiting that client will actually solve the problem. So much communication in the workplace is just drama; we talk about the issue without ever solving the issue. But ultimately, it’s a lot better to be a problem-solver than a problem-discusser.
  • If you employ the strategy of visiting the client, you stand out from everyone else. If you’re one of the few people willing to run back into the fire, others will notice your bravery. Bystanders will think to themselves ‘wow, that person has guts!’ and that’s a great reputation to have in any organization.
  • Lastly, the situation I gave you is that your big client called your boss to complain. Reflect on that for a moment; they didn’t call you directly, they went around you to your boss. That’s typically a sign of either a very bad relationship or a passive-aggressive client. And regardless of which of those situations you’ve got, the only way to fix it is to get in front of the client and get these issues out on the table.
Mistakes are bound to happen. So don’t hide when you make a mistake. Rather, if you’re one of the few people willing to jump back into that situation and tackle it directly, you’ll achieve more success. And somewhat unreasonable, you’ll be a lot happier.


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