When you are short of time, here is the one action that will give you 80 percent results in 20 percent of the time.
Own the mistake and how to correct it.
BY DOING THIS
– Take accountability quickly.
– Share steps to correct it and the help you need.
– Detail what you learned and will do differently.
Mistakes are inevitable when managing change. There are too many moving pieces on different schedules and run by different people to avoid missteps.
Given the stress (and fear) that major change initiatives inevitably produces, people can default to responses that deflect ownership, compromise resolution, and obscure learning when something goes wrong. This behaviour often adds risk to the project and damages relationships. A better and more difficult approach is to expect and address mistakes as they appear.
Taking accountability for a mistake, especially in public, will set you apart. People will remember how calmly you handled the situation and soon will forget about the mistake.
First, take ownership of the mistake. Next, state what you are doing to correct it. Talking about the solution focuses people on the path to correction vs. the actual mistake. Close off your comments by sharing what you learned and what you will do differently in the future.
Don’t explain in detail why you did what you did. It’ll sound like you’re making excuses and take focus away from how you are fixing the mistake.
For more stories, insights and advice, listen to the Handling Mistakes podcast episode with executive and change leader Michelle Yanahan.
Phil Buckley is the author of Change on the Run and Change with Confidence, host of the Change on the Run Podcast, and co-creator of the Sharing Change with Confidence Newsletter.
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