I admit it. I screwed up. I’m not going to go into the details of my screwup because they are not important. What IS important is what you come away with after reading this article. Because we’re human, we WILL screw it. It’s almost inevitable. However, how you handle your screwups will determine how bad the resulting fallout will be. The key is minimizing the damage and making things right…as best as you can do that. This article, I hope, will give you some helpful tips to do just that.
The first thing you have to do after a screwup, whether it’s one that you recognized on your own or was pointed out to you by another person, is admit your mistake. Don’t try to make excuses for it. Don’t argue with people and tell them they’re wrong. They’re not going to change how they feel about your screwup no matter what you say. Just admit your mistake and apologize for it. And not one of these half hearted apologies either. Really mean it.
The next thing you want to do is make up for the screwup. That means correcting whatever it is you did. Now some things are harder to fix than others, granted. But you have to do what you can to make things right. If it’s a matter of you delivering a shoddy product with typos and other mistakes, take the product back and fix it. And then give new copies to all your customers. You might even want to throw in a bonus with it as well. This will go a long way towards establishing good will with your customers.
Finally, you want to make a note of what you did and see what you can do to prevent it from happening again. If it is shoddy product creation, then simply take more time on it next time. Proof read everything to make sure there are no typos. You may not catch every one, but you should catch most of them, thus making your product one of quality. If your screwup was in how you handled customer service, then make a note of what you did wrong and make sure you don’t do it again.
Your reputation is the most precious thing that you have. It can take years to build it and only seconds to destroy it. Trust me, I am speaking from experience. Yes, I have done some stupid things of which I’m not proud of. They were not done intentionally, but nevertheless, they did affect how people viewed me. So please be accountable to yourself and don’t let your screwups ruin YOUR reputation.