Something go wrong at work?
We all make mistakes, the important thing is how we handle it.
Alexander Pan avatar
Written by Alexander Pan
Updated over a week ago

Let's look at a hypothetical scenario that's likely relatable to all of us: Everything at work is going well, and you're performing and delivering... but alas, something suddenly goes wrong and you make a mistake.

It's okay, we're only human and it's perfectly fine to make mistakes. The important thing is recognising your mistakes, taking the right steps to address them, and building up a healthy resilience to any setbacks. We're going to take a deep dive into all of this and what you can do during those low work moments so you can come out the other side stronger.

If you need support or just someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.

Acknowledge your mistake

This is usually the most difficult step! Acknowledging that you're in the wrong means having to take ownership of the situation. It's not easy, but it is a vital step as it not only shows that you're willing to be responsible for the matter, but you're also being proactive in addressing it rather than trying to sweep it under the (metaphorical) rug.

Offer up a genuine apology and don't be defensive about it or make yourself the focus of the apology. Most importantly, don't ever use the 'I'm sorry if you feel that way' line or something similar. That just shifts the onus onto other people rather than you owning your mistake.

Fix what you can (but accept that you can't fix everything)

Making amends is part of taking responsibility for your mistakes and will help rebuild trust. You can apologise all you want, but any apology means nothing if there's no proactive response to improve. Mistakes provide valuable learning opportunities so use those tough moments as an opportunity for reflection and what you can do better.

Having said all that, it is also important to recognise that you can't fix everything. It's one thing to correct your mistakes, but it's another to take too much on to overcompensate for your mistake. That is a recipe for burnout and potentially more mistakes. And on that note of accepting that you can't fix everything...

Don't beat yourself up

It's easy to assign blame when something goes wrong, but it can be a slippery slope towards being excessively self-critical. Recognise the moment when healthy self-reflection tips into beating yourself up and know when to move on. Looking back and learning from past mistakes for a short period is fine, but dwelling on something overly too long will simply hinder you.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.

Image credit: The Mummy

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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