Ok, first thing for you to realize is that no one is perfect. In spite of what you may think, your team doesn’t expect you to be either. So, suck it up role model, and own up to your mistakes. It’s very likely you’ll earn more, not less, respect. When you goof up, don’t give in to the urge to cover it up or to blame others. That’s a dark path that you don’t want to go down. So ‘fess up, come clean, learn from it and move on…you’ll be able to sleep better.
Here’s what to do:
- Deal with it immediately. As soon as you discover, or are made aware of, the mistake take ownership. Don’t sit on it. Doing so runs the risks of negative outcomes becoming worse…think alienation, loss of credibility, trust & respect.
- Apologize in terms of past – present – future. Here’s what I mean – say that you’ve taken credit for someone else’s work…which is always a bad idea. Immediately apologize to the person or affected team. Frame your careless behaviour as something in the past and that you realize it was wrong. Make a pledge to never do it again in the future. In this example, it would also be best to express your hope that you can earn their trust again.
- Don’t beat yourself up. There’s a big difference between admitting your mistake and kicking the tar out of yourself. Learn from it. Move on…and try not to repeat it.
Everyone makes mistakes. Really. Even you. It’s ok. You’re human.