How to Recover From a Mistake

How to Recover From a Mistake

Well, you know that old saying — “stuff happens!” (I tried to keep it clean!)

Experienced business owners know that mistakes will occur and they also know it is how these mistakes are handled that makes all the difference in the world.

Here are (3) three things you can do to help you bounce back when a mistake has occurred:

  1. Take Ownership 

Your first action when a mistake happens is to take ownership of the situation and do so just as soon as the mistake comes to light. You must be proactive, acknowledge the mistake and accept responsibility for what has occurred. Attempting to place the blame on someone else does nothing to mitigate the situation and will potentially damage your reputation as you try to get ahead of the situation.

  1. Apologize

Along with taking responsibility for the mistake is the very real need to immediately apologize for what has occurred. The necessity could be either a personal message or a more public apology when the mistake and associated damage has impacted many; the timing of your response must be swift and your apology sincere.

  1. Correct the situation

Taking ownership and apologizing for the mistake are mandatory action steps, however, correcting the situation must follow immediately thereafter. You’ll find that an apology is well received only if you explain the steps you will take to rectify the situation. Otherwise, an apology can be seen as gratuitous at best.


It’s important to realize that, while we understand that mistakes can happen, it is the responsibility of the business owner to establish procedures and processes so that there is little chance that the same mistake will happen again.

Repetitive mistakes may be indicative of a larger problem and it is wise to get ahead of the situation before any further damage can occur.

August 20, 2019