You made a mistake. A big one. You blew up at your client, had a bad review with your boss or dropped the ball on the project you were leading. You’re miserable.
You’ve been kicking yourself and slinking around. You’re disappointed and mad at the world. Now what?
Life has setbacks. They are encouragingly called learning opportunities, but we don’t feel that way in the moment. Everyone has them, there’s a book on CEO’s called “How they blew it”.
I’ve come across a few “crisis management” moments in my coaching. They come with lots of self recrimination and a strong desire to crawl under the desk and assume the crash position.
So, what can you do to recover?
First admit to your mistake and show some remorse. If you won’t acknowledge what happened and the problems it caused, then people will think you don’t care. Worse they’ll lose faith in you.
2-Take a moment
Take a little time to clear your head. That may mean a walk around the block or a few days to lick your wounds, either way give yourself a little time to think.
Get proactive and take control. Apologise and move on to what needs to happen now. Are you clear what’s expected? If not, check in with someone who can help.
4- Talk it through
Let everyone know what you will be doing to solve the problem and when they can expect that. That’s true of relationships as well as functional things. Acknowledging to someone that you’ve let them down, and you’re going to do your best to rebuild their trust, puts you in charge and moves you forward.
5-Learn from it
Show that you’ve learned what you should have done. It eliminates the fear that they might have a repeat performance. Be honest, clear and fair about how it happened and what you would do differently next time.
The way you handle a mistake can earn you respect from above, below and from your clients. No one wants to work with the person that lashes out and points fingers. Everyone wants to be associated with the person who shouldered the blame, acknowledged the problem and sought out a solution.
If you’ve been through a rough patch and dealt with it well, it will improve your reputation as a problem solver, who doesn’t shirk responsibility.
Best of all, everyone loves a comeback.