I spend a lot of time in Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Home Goods. Because there are tons of great deals in these stores, I end up standing in lots of long lines waiting to make my purchases. Fortunately, there are shelves full of items to peruse. For some (sometimes me), they turn into impulse buys; but for others, it’s just entertainment.
This particular sign, “Remember There Are No Mistakes Only Lessons,” caught my eye. We work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented business where mistakes are made on the regular. Some are worse than others, but they almost always make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s OK to feel bad if you ultimately learn a lesson – like to pay more attention to detail. What’s not OK is to constantly berate yourself and dwell on what happened.
Here are five lessons I’ve learned: 1. Forgive yourself. We are all human and occasionally will have a mark in the error column. Clearly it was not done on purpose. Acknowledge and move on. 2. Improve the process. Whether it’s workflow or procedure, pinpoint how and when most of your errors are made. If you can streamline your processes, chances are you’ll make fewer mistakes. 3. Don’t assign blame. It doesn’t help the situation, and most times makes you feel worse. 4. Accept responsibility. When necessary, apologize. Apologizing shows that you realize your part in the mistake. Remember, no one is perfect. 5. Proof, proof, proof. No matter how good you think you are at typing, spelling, designing, etc., things happen. Proof your own work and always have a second (sometimes third) set of eyes look at your finished product before it’s published.
The workplace is made up of several teams of people, all working toward a common goal. Take advantage of the expertise you have around you to help you produce a great product.