It takes a lot of courage to walk up to someone and admit that you fucked up. It’s much more difficult to say “I am sorry”.
Our mistakes make us look bad — or so we think — and hence, a lot of us put up a white blanket of excuses on them. Every time someone questions our work or the deadline we missed, our natural defense system kicks in and it starts justifying our stance from every corner possible.
“Committed a mistake” can easily top the list of “Things That Make You Look Stupid”. If it’s a “silly” mistake, it’s going to go down in the list of “The Most Embarrassing Things That Happened To Me”.
In certain workplaces, mistakes are frowned upon; after all, failure is the first step to getting fired. Given this, we become too scared of the consequences that come with admitting a mistake.
“Too naive?”, “Incompetent?”, “Impatient?”, “Lazy?”.
We don’t know what category we will get filed in if we own up. But what if we don’t take responsibility for our shit?
In many more workplaces, mistakes are celebrated; after all, a mistake is the first step to a milestone. Given this, by not owning up to our mistake, we risk learning, wisdom, and most importantly, credibility.
When you walk up to your boss and tell her/him — “Hey! I know I fucked up. But now, I am looking for any suggestions/advice you can offer so I can bring this up to speed and close it” — you look far more confident than you did a minute ago.
A genuine apology makes you look credible, trustworthy and human — characteristics that not many can contain in modern workplaces. Owning up is for the courageous.
So today, remember to take up the responsibility for your actions.