Owning One's Mess

Today, I messed up at work. Not once, but twice. Without going into any of the juicy details, I displayed a lack of focus and I suffered the consequences. Nothing that can't be fixed, but still, it's annoying. So, I had a chance to ask myself: How does a mature and professional person handle herself when called out?

The answer is: with grace. You do not come with excuses. You do not shift the blame somewhere else. You do not duck. You do not, in other words, retreat to the-dog-ate-my-homework approach to professional disasters, or any of its modern equivalents.

Instead, you display accountability and do the right thing, which is to own your mess. It is easy to take pride in our successes. Holding ourselves accountable for our failures, however, is not. Why? Because it’s harder to swallow a bitter pill than a piece of candy.

So, what does that mean? It means to say, ‘It’s my fault.’ It means to say, ‘I screwed up.’ It also means to learn from your mistakes and get back on track.

 Good luck everyone! 

Julia Ryberg