We all know that failure is a part of life. How many successful people do you know who haven’t failed along the way? Probably none. The most successful people speak about the mistakes they’ve made on their path to success. More importantly is not only learning from them but owning the errors.
None of us is perfect; but all of us can be honest. People expect honesty. Whatever the mistakes are or how they happened, be honest if it falls under your purview. As a business owner, you
are presenting a business vision and image. Having the state of mind to practice honesty throughout your career reinforces the impact you have on your clients. Honesty shows integrity; integrity begets trust; trust goes a long way.
Owning a mistake may also help solve the problem. If you understand how it happened, you’re ahead of the game. Do you ever notice the look on dog or cat’s face when something has broken or they’ve left a room in the state of havoc? You can almost hear them say, “I didn’t do it!” And your thought response is, “Really?” Whether you’ve dropped the ball, your inventory is low, you’ve forgotten a call, or a supplier didn’t deliver – simply own it. Upfront. Stalling looks like a cover-up.
I recently saw a typo on a slide during my own live presentation. Oh – the humiliation I felt. Not because a typo is such a huge deal to anyone. But in my profession – editing and proofreading – it’s akin to a celebrity chef on TV forgetting a key ingredient. Wait – I have seen that! Thankfully, two
people wrote me afterward and lessened the impact I felt, and I was grateful. Recently, I noticed a post on LinkedIn by a writer, editor, proofreader and professor of English who had the word ‘committee’ instead of ‘committed.’ That sure changed the meaning of her sentence. So it happens to everyone. Even the best.
Admitting a mistake, being honest about it, and taking responsibility – great character traits. They also make you relatable to others; seeing how you quickly resolve the issue gains respect and trust. By claiming your errors, you get the bonus of endearing your clients and customers to you.
Trina Gigax, Freelance Copyeditor and Proofreader
Fresh Eyes Reading llc, , trina@FreshEyesReading.com