Leadership Lesson: Righting Your Wrong

    By Kelly Gregorio | Small Business

    As a leader you work hard to earn the admiration of your team.  It takes time, effort and a commitment to grow, learn and change whenever necessary.  The best leaders are far from those who strive to be perfect; instead, they’re the one’s that are humbled by inevitable mistakes.

    So, how should you respond when faced with the aftermath of your latest’s misstep?  Read on to discover the 4 steps that will take you from error to enlightened.

    Open With An Apology

    After every mistake the attitude you take on when approaching your team will be key.  It’s essential to apologize, but in the right kind of way.  Be sure you hear the words I’m sorry or I apologize come out of your mouth and make sure the phrase that follows does not put the focus on anyone but you and your behaviors.  We’ve all been given the backhanded excuse of I’m sorry you feel that way; let’s universally agree that these verbal scapegoats are unacceptable (and can be nothing short of infuriating.)

    Display the fibers to true leadership by remaining calm, honest and upfront about any wrongdoings.  The same goes for mistakes that your team may make.  If you fly off og the handle with every disclosure, guarantee that those confessions will become few and far between.  Rather than force your employees to feel the need to sweep mistakes under the rug, set your workplace climate to be constructive, welcoming and positive.

    Find an Honest Place

    When you approach your team, do your best to come from an honest place.  Practicing and planning what you’ll say runs the risk of making your sound stale and detached.  Instead, level with your team and speak from a raw and honest place.

    It’s also important to let excuses lie.  Phrases like we’ve just been really busy or the work lately has been overwhelming, takes away from your central apology.  Let you apology stand on its own and then move on.

    Plan to Make It Better

    Be sure to check in with your attitude, despite your past mistake this meeting is less about dwelling on issues and instead about making plans for improvement.  The beauty in every misstep is that they provide lessons learned.  Approach your team from an angle of empowerment, you now are all one step closer to success.

    Brainstorm with your team ways in which you can now move forward.  Share solution oriented ideas and let the former mistake backdrop as a reminder of what not to do.  Not only will employees appreciate your approach, but you’ll provide a real-time example of how to proactively pick up fallen pieces and collectively move on.

    Follow Through

    Up to this point your verbal efforts may have provided you with a fresh paved path, but that foundation will quickly crumble without any real action.  Lead by example and show off to your team the process of words turning into real action and tangible efforts.

    After all, an apology with no action ends up being worse than no apology at all.  Be sure to follow through with your new plan and reconvene later to collectivity evaluate the results.

    As a self-aware, humble and honest leader you can turn both wins and losses into valuable teaching experiences.  Everyone is human, but exceptional leaders will make the choice to work even harder when faced with inevitable mistakes.

    How do you right your wrongs?

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