As a manager, your employees’ wins are your wins, but also, their fails are also your fails.
It can be extremely frustrating when your employee makes a mistake, especially if you feel that they should have known better.
You might have spent your time training your team members in a certain task, or given detailed instructions on how to complete a project, but the mistake was still made.
The worst thing you can do at this time is to lose your cool, as this would not only look unprofessional, but it can irreparably damage your relationship with your employee.
To keep calm when an employee messes up, follow these steps:
Count to 20
Our first reaction when a mistake happens can vary from person to person—one can yell, another can stomp their feet, while a third can even let out a curse word.
However, none of these things are appropriate in the workplace.
To make sure that you give yourself the time to react appropriately, freeze and count to 20 slowly.
This will allow your brain to truly process what transpired and form a thoughtful response.
Although it may seem silly to you to stand there silently in front of your colleagues, that is much better than doing something you will regret later.
Don’t Assign Blame
Regardless of how frustrated you may become at the moment, don’t assign blame to any of the parties involved.
Even in the most stressful times—in fact, especially in those times, it’s imperative to make your employees feel that they are part of a team.
This means not pointing fingers and accepting mutual responsibility for things that didn’t go as planned.
Involve the Team
Leaders often feel stressed out when they discover their workers made a mistake because they believe they have to clean it up.
To keep yourself calm, remind yourself that you have a whole team of employees that can help you make the situation right.
Involve all of your employees and come up with creative solutions instead of attempting to put a bandaid on the problem with a quick and easy fix.
In fact, this error can be a learning process that can highlight some weaknesses in your department.
Consider what you, as a supervisor, did wrong to lead your employee to this mistake.
Can your team benefit from additional coaching?
Does the individual employee need training?
These questions can help you make your department stronger and more productive than ever!
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant
Originally published: 4 September, 2018