...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?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.