How To Say You’re Sorry When You Make A Mistake In The Office

Being direct about what happened…


Mistakes, both large and small, are a fact of life.

No matter how much you try to avoid it, you’ll occasionally make an error at work.

Maybe the numbers didn’t add up properly in your spreadsheet, or you booked the wrong travel arrangements for your boss.

Shauna Heathman from Mackenzie Image Consulting has four steps to help you smooth over the waters and move forward:

Weigh the impact

How big was your mistake?  This affects how you’ll fix the error.

If the mistake was small, an email addressing the issue may suffice.

However, if it was a significant mistake, a face-to-face meeting may be better.

Own up to it quickly

Take responsibility for your error.

Own up to what you did as soon as possible – postponing an apology only makes it harder to do damage control.

Prevent another problem

When you’re apologizing, provide reassurance that you won’t let the mistake happen again.

Have a clear action plan to prevent the error for next time.

Tip: You may need more than one method to prevent it again.

Get some perspective

We have a tendency to beat ourselves up when things go wrong.

If you made a small mistake, try and find humor in the situation.

Laughter’s the best medicine!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 14 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)