Everyone Makes Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. People around us make them every day and so do we. What is important is that we learn from our mistakes and move forward. A great mentality to have is to never make the same mistake twice. Although we do not always succeed in this goal, the effort of obtaining it makes us better at our jobs and better at life in general.
Recognizing and Admitting to Errors
No one likes to be wrong and no one likes to make mistakes; however, it is worse when we try to hide the mistake or deny it happened. When you do something wrong, admit it. It might be embarrassing but it is more likely to be educational. By admitting an error you open up the door to learn and better yourself. Furthermore, people will likely be annoyed, but will be equally helpful in correcting the error. From the time we are born, we begin learning. First our parents teach us, then our family, then our teachers and so on. There is nothing wrong with learning later in life and allowing people who can help us do so. Finally, people we live and work with might get annoyed by your mistake, but do they belong in your life if they do not help you move forward? Surround yourself with people who will understand and help teach you. Admit you made an error and ask for their help. Most people will respect you more if you do.
Do not Force Advice
It can be extremely annoying to watch a coworker, friend, or family member make a mistake you have made yourself. However, sometimes allowing those to make the mistake and allowing them to learn from it is the best option. People are prideful and stubborn and sometimes arguing over how to do something is in vain. You could have extensive experience and could have made the same mistake that your friend or peer is about to but trying to help will only make a situation worse. The difficult thing is to know when to back down and to watch. If a situation is not critical, it is okay to let someone fail. Do not watch and not offer help though. When you see a situation develop offer advice and counsel. If the person is interested in help, they will listen, if they are resistant to it know to back off a bit. Failure is one of the best teachers out there. By allowing someone to fail, while being supportive, you could be putting them in a situation to learn. It is critical in these situations to be supportive and not negative. No one likes to hear “I told you so” so never be that person. Be the person who offers timely advice who also is not too pushy. You will make many allies this way and alienate less people.
Share Experiences but do not Talk too Much
It can be a delicate balance between saying too little and saying too much. In a conversational setting, you want to make your point, but you also want to listen to other perspectives. When in a group setting, whether at work or leisure, it is important to feel out a conversation and know when to interject. Don’t worry, almost all of us will fail at this and likely do it often. When this happens try to realize the situation and rebound. If the topic of conversation is something that you are a real expert on, feel free to speak up and make some solid points. In contrast, if you are new to the topic of conversation do not make a fool of yourself by talking. Reading an article or two does not make you an authority on any topic. It is perfectly acceptable to reference what you have read but be open minded when people respond to your comments. By listening you could discover a friend or acquaintance has an interest or expertise you did not know about. You could learn that you share a hobby or interest with someone and can grow a personal or professional relationship by this shares topic. However, you may never get to this point if you do not navigate a group conversation properly. When in doubt listen first and talk second. See what happens and remember it is very rare to get in trouble by saying nothing.
One thing is for certain, no one can travel back in time. When a mistake is made, whether it be embarrassing or stupid, all you can do is move forward. Never forget what happened but utilize it as a tool to move forward. No matter how awful something is you cannot change history. The best thing you can do is move on and ensure it does not happen again. This is true in almost every situation. Dwelling in the past is very dangerous and can lead to a failure of advancement. Recognizing what has happened, learning from it, sharing your experience and what you have learned with others, is the best approach to almost every situation. Be supportive to coworkers, friends and family but do not over step your place. Move on and allow others to move on as well. Do not forget the past but do not let it completely control your future. In reality, all we can really do is move forward and move on from any mistake or situation. So learn to keep on going and finally help others move on as well. Being supportive and understanding can only help ease a situation and will be appreciated by almost everyone.