Everybody messes up at work sometimes. Maybe you hit “send” before attaching an email document. Maybe you misspelled a client’s name or made other typos in a sales pitch. Or perhaps you made a bigger error – one that leaves you feeling like your credibility is hanging by a thread.

Making mistakes is part of being human. It doesn’t make it any easier, though, to own up to messing up. Steve Keating, a sales expert and speaker, says some people dislike admitting mistakes so much that they deny them or try to place blame on someone else. This prevents them from learning from the mistake and could potentially cost them future opportunities.

So, what should you do if you drop the ball or make a major blunder? Keating recommends taking some specific actions. We share his suggestions in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Acknowledge the error. You don’t have to alert the entire company or make a big production of it. Simply take a minute to reflect on what happened. Avoid denial or defensiveness, Keating says, as they can hinder the resolution process.

Accept full ownership. It’s important to take responsibility for your actions. When you mess up, don’t blame it on other factors or what someone else did or didn’t do. Keating recommends acknowledging that you were in control of the situation and that your choices led to the mistake.

Own up quickly. You should also address the mistake as soon as possible. If you wait, Keating says, you risk people losing trust in you. Waiting around could also exacerbate the problem.

Choose the right setting. Depending on the gaffe, you may need to book a private meeting with your boss or other stakeholders. This is especially important if your mistake involves sensitive or confidential matters, Keating says.

Offer a solution. You might not know what to do immediately, but you should still take a proactive approach to fixing the issue.

Give a sincere apology. Make sure those impacted know you truly regret the outcome. A sincere apology goes a long way in rebuilding trust, Keating says.

Seek feedback. No matter how long you’ve worked in your role, you can learn from other promo pros on how to prevent similar mistakes in the future. Keating says checking in with others helps demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow from the experience.

Follow through. So, you admitted you messed up. Now what? Keating says you should follow through on the actions to correct the situation.

When you make a mistake, don’t stick your head in the sand or point fingers at someone else. Instead, follow the tips above to bounce back from your blunder.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Steve Keating is a renowned sales and sales leadership thought leader and expert. He speaks around the world on topics relating to leadership, sales, customer service and business management.