Why is it so hard for some people to admit they are wrong? A friend of mine talks about a former manager whose favorite line was “I may not be right, but I’m final.” However, tongue in cheek the comment, there’s no denying many people are afraid to own up to a mistake because they think it shows weakness or a lack of competency.
As the owner of your small business, your team looks up to you for direction and answers. Still there’s no failure or weakness in acknowledging you are wrong. In fact, owning up to a mistake usually fosters more respect and trust in a leader. No one wants to work for someone who is constantly covering their tracks or worse yet assigning blame when something doesn’t work out.
Entrepreneur recently addressed this topic in “How to Admit When You’re Wrong.” Here are some of the recommendations:
Take ownership: You’re responsible for what goes on at your small business, which means you own the problem and the solution. Making excuses doesn’t gain the confidence of people around you. Also when it comes to your employees making mistakes; commend them for taking ownership. Doing so creates a culture and environment that does not assign blame when things go wrong.
Show what you’ve learned: As part of apologizing for making a mistake, explain what happened and why you made the decisions you did. Include your lessons learned from the experience and how that will inform your decisions as you move forward. Showing your employees how you thought through a mistake and what you’ve learned will be a valuable lesson for them as well. Also in correcting your mistake, outline what you plan to do and show how you’ve started to correct the problem so your team knows you are sincere.
End on a high note: I particularly appreciate this point. As you own up to mistake, acknowledge anyone who might have been hurt or adversely affected and show that you empathy.
Everyone is wrong some time. The first step in dealing with it is to admit it.
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