We all have those moments (or sometimes days or weeks even) when we keep tripping up and make mistakes. Let's face it, sometimes we straight up don't feel 100%. Other times, we make mistakes because we were given the wrong information. Maybe we don't ask the right questions, so we fake it when we shouldn't. And, we also forget things. We screw up all the time, because we're human.
You're going to make mistakes at some point if you haven't already. (And if you haven't, you're either lying or you're perfect so you're definitely lying. Stop that.)
Tonight's Praxis Wednesday call was my first with the apprentice group (yay!), and we had one of our advisors come and give us a lot of great tips and advice for being an effective employee. All of the content was great, but the part that stood out the most was his last point: “fuck up effectively”.
First of all, because no one is perfect, you're going to fuck up. I already clarified that. Since this is true, the only part that matters is how you then deal with the situation.
When you make an error, the first thing you must do is own up to that mistake. If you admit you had something to do with it, then the rest of the process will be much easier. Take responsibility for your mistakes - that's the first step.
Secondly, you need to diagnose the problem. What happened? Where did this go wrong, and how can you prevent it from happening again? Do the research, go back and see what happened, and then you have to explain it to whoever may need clarification. Write it out on a document, insert all of the information you can find, then, share the link with your team. Put it in a Trello board, save it in a Drive folder, email it to everyone - just to whatever you've got to do to say, “Hey, I found the mistake. This is what happened. And now, make sure to do x,y, and z so it won't happen again.”
That is the best way to pull yourself out of the situation. Trust me, I've had to do this before too. I once forgot to charge my laptop before an online job interview and it died during the call. That was totally embarrassing, but I found a way to quickly solve the issue. I used my phone to dial in, I apologized, and I made sure that never happened again. Don't panic when you make a mistake - it's normal. But it's not normal to deal with it effectively, and that's definitely going to set you apart from others.