I am not impressed by a mistake

I am not impressed by a mistake

01 January


Dear career tiger, rest assured: you are going to make a mistake! If not today, then tomorrow. It's just a matter of time. And I understand that for the perfectionists among us, that is very difficult to accept. But hey, you're only human. If you were Our Lord, it would be different, but that is not the case.

It was Thomas Edison who said, “I have not failed. I've only found 10,000 ways that don't work."

I remember when I worked as a secretary to the court president in the 90s. I had to put a stamp on an original degree certificate, which had to be signed by him. And I put the wrong stamp on that degree. I got really hot, the panic was up to my ears. I could just die right there and then. So I went to my supervisor and told him what I had done.

And do you know what happened? Nothing. That stamp could also be signed with some adjustments. Nothing to worry about. I thought my supervisor would be furious, but it was not so bad.

Making mistakes often has to do with the perception of the person. What you consider a mega mistake, is for the other just something that needs to be solved. And remember: you can learn from mistakes. There's no point in worrying how wrong you've done something.

See it like this.
Suppose you have bought a very expensive and beautiful tablecloth. You put it on the dining table, but then you accidentally make an ink stain with your pen on the beautiful, expensive tablecloth. You start scrubbing and scrubbing, but now that ink stain only gets bigger. It's the same with making a mistake at work. If you keep thinking about it and thinking about it, the mistake will only get bigger. And your self-confidence will only get lower.

Mistakes happen. Everybody makes mistakes.
Or you can beat yourself up with it: “Oh how stupid am I”.
Or you can accept it: “OK a mistake, it can happen”.

But what could you do if you have made a mistake?
Just admit you made that mistake. That’s it. And then come up with a solution to fix the mistake.

Recognizing a mistake
I remember a colleague from the planning department sent an email to another colleague. In that email she complained about a customer; she thought they were whining so much. She accidentally sent that email to the customer. Oops.

And how is it resolved? She bought a large bunch of flowers and went to that customer together with the sales manager. She has acknowledged that she was wrong and offered her sincere apologies. The customer could laugh about it afterwards. And do you know what the great thing was: they had a moment of contact with the customer.

Come up with a solution
If you often make annoying mistakes due to too much work pressure, you could also keep track of your work load. So you write down all your actions and try to estimate how much time each action takes. So if you have 80 hours of work and you have a 40-hour work week, then it only seems logical to me that you make mistakes.

If you cannot delegate some tasks, you can discuss with your supervisor which tasks should be done first. And for important documents such as quotations or contracts, you can ask someone else to read it again.

I know, these solutions are a no-brainer. But I'm also sure that you can come up with a very nice solution.

Making a mistake is not the end of the world. End I hope that by the end of this blog you are no longer impressed by a mistake.

Deel je ervaringen en lees die van anderen!