On Being Wrong

If you feel you have never done anything wrong, relax, it certainly did happen. Maybe no one told you, maybe you didn’t realize it or simply you didn’t admit you made a mistake.

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In most cases, the mistake is perceived as having a somewhat negative component, hence the shit factor. If you were to check the origin of the word “mistake”, you won’t find anything on the smelly part. Figuratively speaking, something shitty will still come out of it and that’s the main reason why you shouldn’t hide a mistake – at some point it will start to smell. We hope that no one notices, of course, but it’s generally a distinct odor even if people don’t shout out loud about it.

The first stage is admitting the mistake, no matter what it is, and finding a method, as direct as possible, to come out clean. DON’T hide it and don’t try to act as if nothing happened, most of the times the solution may turn out to be easier than you imagined.

By getting from denial into acceptance, you will first help yourself and then everybody else around you.

An honest, direct approach, such as “I broke your vase, I am sorry”, it’s a lot healthier on the long run than “The vase broke, surely it had an older crack…”- without apologizing properly and hoping no one notices.

There is no harm in recognizing your mistake without placing the blame on other colleagues or on the global warming; I know you have the ability to come up with dozens of scenarios to point the finger at anyone but yourself.

Last, but not least, you should have a sound plan to repair the mistake and prevent it from happening in the future. Yes, in some cases, no matter what you do to solve the situation, the vase will still show the crackles. Nonetheless on the long run, trust is much more important.

Strange as it may sound, the more you err, the more chances to make it better – which means you keep progressing.

To err is human, good luck with that!

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