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Clean Up Your Workplace Blunder Like A Pro

Tags:  Management, Error recovery, Reputation, Co-Workers

As his finger punched the send button on his keyboard, Walter felt the heated rush of blood to his face realizing that he had just sent a less than flattering comment to the wrong person.


In fact he had meant to forward the email to a coworker to ask for advice about how to deal with a particularly difficult situation that he was having with the original email sender. Instead he had sent his request – including a comment that the person was somewhat ""crazy"" and a bit ""paranoid"" – as a response.


Immediately realizing his blunder, Walter chastised himself as he quickly decided how to handle the fall out.


If you've ever stepped on someone's toes or gently slipped your own foot into your mouth, while it may be embarrassing, it doesn't have to be the end of the world or your career, as long as you handle the situation professionally.


Here are the five steps you should take to recover from a workplace blunder like a pro.


Put Your Ego Aside


Sure you would rather pretend it didn't happen or ignore it in the hope that it will go away. However, the sooner you get over feeling like an idiot, the sooner you can move on. Everyone makes mistakes, and as long as the sun comes up the next day, they can be corrected. Swallow your pride and fix it.


Take Responsibility for Your Actions


Whether you said something foolish or did something inappropriate, your best course of action is to step up and apologize. If you don't nip it in the bud and confront the situation head on, word could get out causing further problems and damaging your reputation. It also may be appropriate to notify your boss of your error so that it doesn't blindside him when he least expects it.


An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure


Don't do it again. Think about what you did and how you can prevent something similar from ever happening again. Pay particular attention to details, emails and whatever else may trip you up.


Remain Focused


Stay productive. Don't let this one error in judgment or timing be your undoing. Put the situation behind you the best you can by resolving to not let it interfere with your future performance.


The Party is Over


Know when it is time to move on. If a decent amount of time has passed and there still seems to be a residual effect or further fall out from the initial incident, you may find it's time to pack your bags and go.


Whatever transpires from here on out is up to you to deal with it. Determine your best course of action and then handle any workplace blunder like a pro by owning your error and handling it as quickly as possible.

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