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A Retrospective


Sometimes we make mistakes in business. Sometimes theyíre big mistakes, sometimes small. Sometimes our mistakes follow us for a long time and sometimes we follow our mistakes. Sometimes we donít make mistakes, but weíre subjected to the mistakes of others. Do you ever wonder what the world would be like if everyone just got everything right?

Whether youíve been in business for a while or just a few years, mistakes will likely be a significant part of what you deal with on a monthly or even weekly basis. We all know this, and yet sometimes, we act like we never for a second believed that anything could go wrong. Itís important at these times to remember that a perfectly run business simply doesnít exist, that everyone spills the coffee every once in a while.

What to do

So in the midst of all these slip-ups, how are we to respond? There are three key points that will help you deal with any stuff up that lands in your lap:

  • Respond, Donít React

    The first step in this first step is to take a really deep breath and let it out slow. If whatís happened could be considered a crisis situation, contact the people that you can trust to offer help or support and let them know whatís happened. It will help as you deal with the emotions that follow. If itís not such a huge mistake, just be sure to check your attitude before you do or say anything, then calmly begin to make a recovery plan.

  • Act quickly

    Experts say that the first half an hour in any crisis is by far the most important, and what happens in that period will have the greatest affect on the final outcome. Do what you can to stop the rot, then move on to finding a way out of the hole youíve been dropped in. Sometimes the path out is a long one, but the most important thing is to start moving along that path. Donít act rashly, but donít muck around.

    If itís a mistake that youíve been making for a while, the concept is the same. As soon as you recognize the problem, do what you can to stop it in its tracks, then begin to research ways of dealing with the consequences.

  • Deal Appropriately with Those Involved

    Once youíre back on track, or at least heading that way, you can deal with the cause of the problem. Hereís where it gets tricky, because in most cases, a person or a number of people are directly responsible. You need to deal with those people in a way that lets others know that although they will be held to account for their actions, they shouldnít feel like thereís an axe hanging over their head waiting to drop the moment they slip up.

    If youíre the one responsible, be completely honest with yourself about what went wrong, where you dropped the ball, and explain the entire situation to someone you trust. Not only does this help release some of the burden of guilt, but it will help you better understand the situation.

And remember, in business, thereís always someone to help, from your accountant or a friend in business to professional business mentors and coaches. Donít be afraid to ask for help.

The Grace Factor

Next time you check your inbox and find an email from an angry client, or walk into your shop to find a $5000 television lying broken on the floor, take a deep breath, let it out, and remember that if the world was perfect, there would be no room for grace.

Jason Harper
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Jason Harper

Jason Harper

Run Web Design is a Geelong based company committed to providing businesses with a complete, professional web site development service.

With services covering all aspects of web site development, including website design and construction, search engine optimisation, domain registration and web hosting, and online advertising advice, Run Web Design is able to provide clients with a web site that works for their business.

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