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Someone on Your Team Made a Mistake

Now what?

Early in my career, I was a company newsletter editor. I managed a small team of writers, oversaw design and layout, and worked with a printer to produce and distribute the weekly publication to more than 150,000 employees. (This was back in the day when people actually got hard copy newsletters.)

After a late night of last-minute revisions and layout problems on the latest edition, I arrived to work the next day and opened my batch of newsletters – only to see a glaring error in the top headline. The headline was about the Public Service Commission, except there was no "l" in "public!" If I hadn’t been so mortified, I probably would have laughed aloud. Staring at this huge typo, a million questions flooded my brain. “Am I seeing what I’m seeing? How did I miss this? How can I face my boss and his boss and explain this? Could I get fired for this? How did this happen?”

The reality is mistakes happen. It’s what you do after the mistake that really matters, whether it’s your own mistake or that of someone on your team. The poet Nikki Giovanni said, “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.”

Please select this link to read the complete blog post from Chatsworth Consulting Group.

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