Everyone makes mistakes. What separates the leaders from the pack is how those mistakes are handled. Good leaders manage their errors and take responsibility while maintaining their authority. How is that possible? Here are three tips to save face when you mess up.
Laugh at Your Expense
There’s a saying that you can’t put lipstick on a pig to dress it up. Trying to dress up a mistake will just make it more obvious. Take a moment to kick yourself and enjoy some self-deprecation. Ignoring the mistake won’t make it go away. It’s not a group lesson. Mistakes happen. You may just have to let the moment pass.
Remember, You’re Not All That Great
Basically, you need to get over yourself. Even the best leaders make mistakes. It’s just vanity that makes you want to hide your mistakes and cover them up. How do you get over pride? There are a lot of theories, but one key element is being kind and compassionate to others. Recognize what others do for your business. Complement employees who go above and beyond. Take time to be positive about what is going right in your organization.
Admit Your Mistakes
Leaders who come out and admit their mistakes are often praised for taking ownership. Make apologies without qualifications. Just as success rides on your shoulders, so should failure. The difference is that success you can share and appear humble. When you share failure, you appear arrogant. Sure, there may be many reasons for your mistake, but no one cares how busy your schedule is or who did what. Bottom line is that your mistake is your mistake. Own up to it and move forward with integrity. Find ways to prevent the mistake from happening again. Deal with it.
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