...You Make a Mistake
What to say when you make a mistake. So here's the situation. Let's say you're a designer and you were working on a four-color brochure, and you sent a thousand of them to press with a typo in the client's name, and the client found the mistake. This obviously cost a lot of money to fix but it also embarrassed your company with their client. And although there were other people involved, you know deep down, you could've prevented this from happening if you had made sure it was proofed one last time. But everyone was in a hurry so you skipped it. What to do? Here's what you may be thinking and what not to say. The client should have proofed it. Here's a solution. Take responsibility and apologize, then come up with solutions to the problem and propose ideas for preventing this from ever happening again. Here's what you could say: this is my fault, I should've given it to someone else to proof one last time, I'm sorry. And then with curiosity, what can I do to make this right? Do you wan...
t me to apologize directly to the client? Or with generosity: I'd be willing to do whatever you think is best even if it won't be pleasant for me. Or with humility: I thought of having the client proof it before I sent it to print, but I decided against it since we were in such a rush - that was my mistake. Or with humor: I get full credit for this mistake. The overarching idea is that how you handle this type of problem is more important than the problem itself. Don't try to cover it up or blame it on someone else, get out in front of it. Be proactive in proposing possible solutions, with the situation at hand and more importantly, for the future. And please don't be afraid of confrontation. The reality is rarely as bad as you imagine, and addressing it directly always diffuses the situation, especially if you come up with a solution. Make sense?