Skip to main content
Explore URMC

UR Medicine

menu

How to Survive Admitting a Mistake

Nothing creates a feeling of vulnerability more than admitting to a big mistake at work. In one moment it can feel as though your integrity, job status, reputation, and self-esteem are hanging in the balance. Conquering this fear is not easy, but the payoffs can be significant in elevating your reputation for two reasons. The first is that everyone makes mistakes, and the second is that admitting a mistake creates anxiety and trepidation. Everyone fears admitting to a mistake, so those who do so are often elevated among their peers because they show confidence, strength, and fearlessness. Secondary benefits of admitting a mistake may include relief, empathy from others, closer relationships, forgiveness, and perhaps increased status as the go-to person because of your experience. So admitting a mistake can pay off well, but there is a time erosion factor for which you must be aware. The longer it takes to admit the mistake, and the more defensive you become, the less the payoff. Eventually being forced to admit to a mistake carries the least payoff.

Tracy Bussey | 4/22/2016

You may also like