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How to Take Responsibility When You Make an Error

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When you make a mistake, do you accept it or run from it?

Maybe you missed a deadline or completely forgot about a project. Maybe you were supposed to add up numbers for the meeting with the new client and didn’t. Or maybe you just took a shortcut in your work and time and money are lost as a result. Whatever it is, if you make an error, taking responsibility is the best way to move forward and gain respect. Here is how to take responsibility when you mess up:

1. Identify Your Error Immediately

You know that you have messed up – do not wait until your boss finds out through other people to make it known. The second you know that you did something wrong, you should let anyone who is affected by the error know immediately.

2. Don’t Shift the Blame

When you do something wrong, it can be easy to say: “But I was just so tired because my baby was crying all night,” or, “I would have done it, but Joe forgot to remind me….” Even if blame is shared, the best thing to do is to take 100 percent responsibility for your actions. Remember that no one is ever responsible for the things that you do; that’s on you.

3. Find a Solution and Accept Consequences

You can apologize all you want but what will really impress others and make up for what happened is your dedication to finding a solution to the problem that has been created. You should also humbly accept the consequences of your actions.

What mistakes have you made? How did you handle them?

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