We all make mistakes. It’s part of life. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to recover (in the eyes of others and within yourself) when you misstep at work. We’re not talking about navigating a difference of opinion here, but rather an actual error that’s plain as day for all to see and know. It can be hard to move through a time or situation where you’ve fumbled, but it’s really important to recover and handle your mistakes in a positive way.

Here are some tips;

Own It

This part is the hardest, so let’s get it out of the way. Own up to your mistakes sooner rather than later. When caught in a work mistake, your natural reaction will be to defend yourself — and you should, as long as you truly aren’t in the wrong. But how often has trying to cover a mistake ever actually worked out? I find people who lie at work or blame others for their mistakes are unbelievably transparent. Unless you’re Don Draper, you probably can’t talk your way out of trouble as well as you think you can. If you want to gain respect in the workplace, own up to your mistakes. Apologize when necessary, and don’t be afraid to ask for help to ensure the same mistakes aren’t repeated.

Don’t Avoid It

By taking the time to really soak up the regret of your mistakes, you can learn how to avoid them. Put your foot in your mouth at the office holiday party? Skip that third glass of champagne next time. Know you won’t be able to finish your work on time? Be honest with your boss when your workload is getting to be too much. If you’ve found yourself in over your head at a job because you exaggerated your experience in a job interview, don’t do it again. None of us are perfect; we all have a weak spot. It may be better to face this weakness head-on than trying to hide it from everyone you work with.

Learn From It

I do not do my best work under pressure. Procrastinating does not give me a rush of energy, it halts my productivity. Feeling like I’m in a time crunch can make me freeze. I’ll find myself at a loss for words, which is (of course) detrimental to a writer. I know I perform best when my time is well-managed. This doesn’t mean I can’t be super busy and do my work well, it just means I can’t ever feel like I’m racing the clock to meet a deadline. I know this about myself, which is why I’ve learned to manage my time in a way that works for me.

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