Deep Patel is a serial entrepreneur, marketer and investor. He is the founder of the wellness brand Penguin CBD. The company was rated the No. 1 CBD brand of 2020 by Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane and was acquired in May 2021.
Dealing with mistakes could mean a cover-up or blame-shifting or actually improving things so it doesn’t happen again.
Mistakes are a painful part of life, and we’ve heard over and over again that failure is part of the learning process. But if you’re a business leader, that doesn’t make it any easier to know how to handle that ginormous blunder you made at work, or that lesser, boneheaded flub you’d rather just ignore.
It can be embarrassing to own up to a mistake, and unfortunately many believe that doing so is a sign of weakness. But good leaders know that the bigger mistake is trying to cover it up or ignore it. Problems have a way of coming to light. The true test is how you handle these slip-ups.
Admitting to a mistake, fixing the problem and ensuring it won’t happen again can actually strengthen your relationships with clients and colleagues if it’s handled in the proper manner. It’s not as hard as you think. Here are 10 ways that good leaders admit to mistakes and correct the problem before it gets worse.
1. Foster open lines of communication.
Good leaders know mistakes are going to happen — it’s inevitable. They recognize that the traditional company mantra, “Don’t come to your boss with problems, come with solutions,” can backfire by prompting people to want to hide mistakes or errors.
Instead of creating a team of problem solvers who are working together to resolve issues, this out-of-touch philosophy pushes people to diminish or camouflage whatever issues they’re facing. Good leaders work to create an open team dynamic with honest, open lines of communication, not a culture of fear and perfection.