We all make mistakes. On one occasion early in my online career I became an accidental spammer when someone offered me a marketing list of 10,000 names in a specific industry. In my enthusiasm at receiving such a windfall, and with a high profile joint venture to promote, I emailed all 10,000 contacts directly (horror of horrors), promoted my upcoming big-name teleclass (even though they had never heard of me), and invited them to unsubscribe from my list (which they had never signed up to) if they didn’t want any more contact from me (which they hadn’t wanted in the first place).
An uncomfortable 24 hours followed, as email after email of some of the nastiest, most vitriolic personal attacks I’ve ever seen poured into my inbox. However, as soon as I realised my mistake I put into action a recovery plan which earned me a lot more emails of thanks and understanding.
Of course, what sets one person apart from another at times like this
is how they recover from their mistakes. Are you the kind of person who
tries to bury bad news, who runs away from their mistakes and always
finds a reason why it wasn’t your fault? Or do you face up to the
consequences of your actions, accept responsibility and start on your
recovery plan immediately?
There’s a blog post over at Techrepublic that deals specifically with this issue, and outlines ten proactive steps to deal with mistakes and make the best of the situation for all involved.
For me the key is not the immediate action, but the learning that takes place afterwards. What will you do in future to ensure that similar mistakes never occur? How will you share the lessons so that no-one who works with you or for you makes a similar mistake? What positive outcomes came out of the situation once the dust had settled?