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Practice the No-surprises Rule

None of us is perfect; we all make mistakes

Unless it’s a birthday party, marriage proposal or a public display of gratitude by a boss, most of us don’t like to be surprised. Some don’t even like to be surprised with those three happy events! What about unhappy or negative events, situations or circumstances in the workplace?

Many of us are shy about divulging when we’ve goofed; in fact, many of us try to hide or minimize our mistakes, especially in the workplace and particularly with our bosses. That said, it’s safe to acknowledge that bosses don’t like to be surprised with slipups their direct reports make or any negative information that reflects poorly on the organization or them.

None of us is perfect, so it’s not if we make mistakes; rather, it’s how we handle them. Although not easy to do, we need to admit those missteps, share what happened with our bosses and apologize when warranted. Moreover, while this post is focused on the workplace, the recommendations also apply to all areas of our lives -- be it within the family, close friends or associates.

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