Meanwhile earlier in the week I came across the best advice I've seen in a long time about recovering from mistakes written by Matt Shipman over at SciLogs. It is very simple, though not always easy. It goes like this ...
Assuming you are a human, you are going to make mistakes. But [for many of us] those mistakes can be public. And embarrassing. So how do you recover gracefully, or at least with as little damage as possible to your reputation?The rest of the article is worth a read too.
Here’s the short answer: admit your mistake as early as possible; never make excuses; and do not make the same mistake again.
We're human. We make mistakes. That's what we do here; it's called "life"!
So yes, three golden rules:
- Admit you made a mistake — and that includes saying "Sorry!"
- Never make an excuse — they cut no ice; it was a genuine error and these things happen.
- Log the mistake in your brain so you can guard against it next time.
When I was at work I expected to make errors, but I knew I could hold my hands up to them and often correct them. I also expected to get a bollocking for it occasionally. And I was fine with my guys as long as they admitted they got things wrong. There's only a problem when someone keeps making errors — usually the same silly errors — and not learning from them.
Keep calm, admit you got it wrong, and learn from it.