Turning a Problem into a Blessing

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

I’ve decided to address a situation that I’m currently helping a client deal with that happens to everyone at some point during their professional career. What do you do when you make a mistake or drop the ball at work? It’s unreasonable to have the expectation that you’re on your A game 100% of the time, so when these things happen, you need to already know how to handle it in a way that it doesn’t permanently damage your career.

I’m going to use the recent mistake that Steve Harvey made announcing the winner of Miss Universe 2015 as an example.

  1. Take complete responsibility for the mistake. (Don’t come up with excuses) Acknowledge what went wrong and explain why it won’t happen again.
  2. Apologize. Let the person know that you understand how your actions affected them and have a genuine remorse about the situation.
  3. If possible try to rectify the situation. If there’s some action you can take to make the situation better, than you should do your best to fix it. The offended party is more likely to forgive if they see actions over just hearing the words I’m sorry.

If Steve wants to rectify the situation publicly, he could have her come on his talk show, apologize to her and find a way to assist her in accomplishing some of the things she would have done as Miss Universe. There are usually some creative ways to fix the problem that may turn out to be a blessing for them and you.