Saving Face When Admitting You Are Wrong Can Help a Lot in the Long Run
No one likes making mistakes, bosses included. However, they’re bound to happen from time to time regardless. The occasional mistake doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t know your stuff when it comes to leadership either. It’s actually how you come back from a misstep that matters most. The following tips can help.
Swallow Your Pride
One of the hardest things to overcome after making a serious mistake is definitely pride, especially when you’re the boss. No one likes knowing they hurt someone’s feelings, set their team back, or cost their company a small fortune in resources. However, it’s important not to let your pride get the best of you. If you’ve wronged someone in particular, make amends and apologize sooner rather than later. The rest of the time, go out of your way to compliment hard-working team members on jobs well done. People will remember that in the future and be that much quicker to forgive.
Own Up to Your Mistake
Great leadership abilities have everything to do with accountability. When something goes wrong, be honest about it, and take full responsibility for your part in what happened. You may think you’ll lose the faith and trust of your team by doing so, but it’s a lot more likely the opposite will happen. Since everyone knows how it feels to be embarrassed by a mistake, you’ll instantly become easier to relate to by owning up to yours. Your team members will likely be touched and inspired by your willingness to be vulnerable as well.
Don’t Downplay What Happened
Think back to the last time someone you know made a mistake, but refused to acknowledge the severity and seriousness of whatever happened. Maybe the person chose to ignore the mistake altogether, hoping against hope that nobody would notice. Maybe they attempted to shift the blame to someone else or turn it into a saccharine “learning moment” for the entire team. It’s likely your respect for that person suffered at least a little. Great bosses resist the urge to do something similar when they make mistakes. They know they’re not fooling anyone, so they choose to simply face the music instead.
At the end of the day, leadership ability that truly inspires a team is far from impossible to attain. However, it does take a little know-how, not to mention plenty of character. Learning how to come back strong from setbacks and screw-ups is arguably one of the best ways to cultivate such a character.