Ooops. While none of us want to make mistakes the fact is that we humans are simply not perfect. (Don’t try to give your Mom the news. Moms think we’re perfect, don’t they:)

Sometimes we’re late, don’t understand the project and do it incorrectly, send our client the incorrect materials and so on. The simple fact is that we mess up.

But it’s not always the mess up that causes the most problems, it is how you react and try (or don’t try) to rectify the situation.

Here are some suggestions on what you should do if you mess up:

Take ownership of the situation and don’t try to cast the blame onto someone else. It doesn’t feel good to mess up but it is a far better solution to accept the “blame” and then to come up with an agreed upon solution.

Keep the situation in perspective. Some mess ups are simply much more important than others and warrant that you experience a fair degree of angst. Others, well not so much and you’ll make yourself sick if you treat every mess up the same.

Figure out what you can do to make amends and get started as soon as possible. The “fix” is not always easy to come by but ultimately it is your responsibility to fix what went awry.

Learn from your mistakes and figure out how you can make certain that it doesn’t happen again. Messing up once can be forgiven, messing up a second time in the exact same way demonstrates a lack of thinking, caring and concern for others.

It’s important to remember that when you successfully admit to and fix a mess up you have a strong probability of winning your customer’s loyalty and appreciation. Don’t hide your head in the sand when a mess up occurs. Take action and you will emerge in good shape.


To err is human; to forgive, divine.

Alexander Pope