Recovering from mistakes in your career…

Good mourning,

Have you recently made an error and regretted it? I just did. Take a look at how I spelled “mourning.” It should be morning (although this could be a play on words for you!) This normally wouldn’t be picked up by spell-check and you would probably wonder why this was not picked-up by me either. This week’s podcast is with Craig Silverman, Montreal journalist and founding editor of RegretTheError.com. He is a columnist for Columbia Journalism Review & author of Regret the Error.

Craig was fascinated by the idea of errors in relation to his profession as a reporter. Mistakes show up all the time in the media. In fact, Craig shared in his book that one of the most common forms of media error is the report that a living person is dead. It’s so frequent that Craig coined his own term to describe it. He calls it “obiticide.” Death by media error. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to you or me. Craig asked the simple yet profound question: why do mistakes happen? This question led him to start a blog RegretTheError.com and to write an interesting book about his discoveries. Good mourning,

Have you recently made an error and regretted it? I just did. Take a look at how I spelled “mourning.” It should be morning (although this could be a play on words for you!) This normally wouldn’t be picked up by spell-check and you would probably wonder why this was not picked-up by me either. This week’s podcast is with Craig Silverman, Montreal journalist and founding editor of RegretTheError.com. He is a columnist for Columbia Journalism Review & author of Regret the Error.

Craig was fascinated by the idea of errors in relation to his profession as a reporter. Mistakes show up all the time in the media. In fact, Craig shared in his book that one of the most common forms of media error is the report that a living person is dead. It’s so frequent that Craig coined his own term to describe it. He calls it “obiticide.” Death by media error. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to you or me. Craig asked the simple yet profound question: why do mistakes happen? This question led him to start a blog RegretTheError.com and to write an interesting book about his discoveries.

Mistakes are very much a part of all our career journeys. There is risk everywhere in our world. We have all made mistakes. Some are small; such as the spelling mistake that that I used in my example. Other mistakes, such as choosing the wrong role, or a misunderstanding with your boss, could have a much greater impact on your professional life. Craig shared, “You will make mistakes in your life – it is important to understand the root cause. Your recovery from them is the key.” Here is the truth, people are fired for errors at their work; it happened today and it will happen tomorrow. Some errors are clearly caused by lack of training; some are related to not meeting expectations while others are related to the fact that people were rushed into deadline.

Here are some ideas on how to deal more effectively with mistakes.

1. Embrace mistakes – We live in a global economy. If you are not willing to try new things, your competitor will. Mistakes are how we grow and quite frankly, some of the greatest products have been discovered through “trial and error.” Don’t pursue perfection, pursue learning.

2. Think before you do – One of the key ways to reduce errors in your work situation is to create checklists. Sounds boring, right? Next time you fly would you rather the pilots be too busy to go over their checklist? I am assuming your answer would be “no.” Creating systems such as checklists, while not always the most exciting, are one way to help reduce errors in your work life.

3. Think Recovery – Craig stated that everyone makes mistakes: what is important is to learn what caused the error and how you can recover from it. When mistakes happen, truthfully acknowledge your mistake, go to your thought plan on how you can minimize the impact of your error, and learn from this.

There is one reality, sometimes the mistake is known as a CLM or Career Limiting Move. If you have tried to recover from the situation and it is truly unrecoverable, accept this for what it is, and start the process of looking for a new career opportunity

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Learning from my mistakes, along the road with you!

Alan