coping with mistakes

Mistakes happen.

Everyone makes them, even you.

Those who claim to never have made a mistake in their lives are, well liars quite frankly.

How can I be so sure?

You’re human. I’m human. To be human means we make mistakes, but how we deal with them defines the type of people we are.

What type of person are you?

Sweaty palms, the sudden sinking of your heart, that sick feeling in your stomach – are all signs of the realisation that something’s gone wrong.

What do you do?

  1. Pass the buck and claim it was down to someone else?
  2. Hide and hope it blows over?
  3. Go to pieces, change your name and emigrate?
  4. Put your hands up and do what you can to resolve the problem?

If you picked either a, b, or c, you need to rethink your attitude.

I’ve made mistakes and I’ve worked with companies that have made mistakes. The most annoying thing is when someone either denies it’s their problem, or they claim it was someone else’s fault.

Yes, the initial discovery of a mistake is maddening; you want to scream at someone (depending on its magnitude), you may even want heads to roll, but once you’ve had time to digest the situation you would rather have someone say:

“I’m so sorry. It’s completely my fault. What can I do to resolve it?”


Learn and grow from your mistakes

The worst thing you can do after making an error is to forget about it.

Sure, you need to move on otherwise it will eat you up and zap your confidence, but you should always learn from the experience.

Think about:

  • What you can do in the future to safeguard against such mistakes happening
  •  Reviewing your processes and training provision and improve where necessary

If you care about your work and your customers an error can seem like the end of the world.

It doesn’t have to be.

As a copywriter I’m expected to be a world-class expert on spelling. I’m not. My expertise is in using the right words to create the emotions and responses you want from your customers.

I do make typos. I always do my best to find them before they reach the client. Sometimes those slippery little suckers get through, but if that happens I am there by my client’s side correcting the mistake.

Do I feel bad? You bet I do.

Do I want to curl up and hide under the nearest bush? Most definitely.

Is that what I do?

No. I face my mistakes. I do all I can to put them right. I learn from them.

Yes, I’m a copywriter, but I am also human.


Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd