Making a mistake in the workplace is inevitable. Even the most diligent employees can make mistakes at work, or have to take ownership of problems they technically did not cause. Accepting your mistake and trying to make amends is a quality of a professional. The following tips help you understand how to approach your boss like a true professional with your mistake.
Choose An Excellent Timing To Confess Your Mistake
While it is important to let your boss know about critical mistakes at work as soon as possible, you want to be assured you will have his/her full attention and adequate time to explain the circumstances. Request a private, quick, in-person meeting with your boss. If you work at separate locations, suggest a Web conference or Skype call. A face-to-face meeting, even virtually, is a more effective way to communicate severe mistakes at work than by email or a phone call.
Know Your Audience
The way you approach your boss with news about mistakes at work may depend on their leadership style and communication skills. If they are the analytical type, you may be able to cut straight to the chase, spell out the problem, offer up a range of solutions, and get back to work. However, if they aremore collaborative, you may need to give more information on what happened and why, and then work with him/her to find a solution.
You must be prepared for lots of questions to answer when talking to your boss or manager about your mistake at work. Your boss will likely want to know how it happened, who else might be involved, and your role in the event. Make sure you are direct and respond with facts. Avoid making justifications, excuses, or stories. Take responsibility for oversights and miscalculations.
Be A Problem Solver
The bad news is always easier to accept when a path to resolution is clear. Make a timeline of events so you and your boss can troubleshoot what went wrong, when and where. Then, plan possible next steps. For instance, you might tell your boss: “Because of L and B, client Z is unhappy with the results. However, I’ve discussed with my team how to make things right with the client, and I’d like to share those ideas with you.” End the discussion with an agreed-upon action plan to ensure that everyone understands what to do to solve the problem.
It is never easy to accept mistakes at work, and it is always difficult to know just how to approach your manager when things go wrong. Nevertheless, it is best to make your boss informed on issues before they snowball and do more harm. Even in crucial situations, a well-considered approach to breaking bad news can help you have a productive discussion with your boss and, perhaps, earn more respect for your resilience and professionalism.
With the points listed above in this piece, you already know how to overcome a mistake in your workplace and what to say.