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Public Speaking and Communications - Strategies for Great Recoveries - Avoid Mistakes - Recover From Mistakes

Updated on March 21, 2016

Effective managers know the importance of recovery. They understand everyone makes mistakes. How we handle our mistakes determines our professionalism. Set reasonable goals for yourself and understand that in reality we all make mistakes. While we do our best to avoid mistakes, mistakes happen. The item we must learn is how to recover and move forward. Here are a few tips to help you through those unsettling moments that all of us experience in life and in business.

Note the guidelines provide work well for both the business world and our personal interactions with family and friends. This is an essential life skill for all of us.

Recovering From a Mistake

elevate your professional image with burnet lady standing next to rising chart with golden arrow
elevate your professional image with burnet lady standing next to rising chart with golden arrow | Source

No Way

No Way red sign
No Way red sign | Source

Trim Your Sail Communications Series

Communications - Trim Your Sail Series of Articles

Communications is the one skill we need daily - both at home and at work. This series of articles "Communications - Trim Your Sail" provides tangible tools for better communications. Sail through with speed and confidence difficult business situations with adding some tools to help you better communicate both at work and at home. Cut through muddy waters with a slight change in how you listen and how you communicate to your friends, family and business associates. As a business leader learn how to motivate and influence your team members.

You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else”

“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”

Denis Waitley quotes (American motivational Speaker and Author of self-help books. b.1933)

“By ignorance we mistake, and by mistakes we learn”

Proverb quotes

“It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.

Dale E. Turner quotes

“We must expect to fail...but fail in a learning posture, determined no to repeat the mistakes, and to maximize the benefits from what is learned in the process."

Ted W. Engstrom quotes

Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”

William James quotes (American Philosopher and Psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, 1842-1910)

Public Speaker

public speaker
public speaker | Source

Communication Scenario

Scenario: You mis-spoke, you spoke out of anger, you were wrong, or you sent an email or betrayed a friend's or colleague's confidence. What happens is we damage our own integrity. If we say we are going to do something and we don't follow through on a timely basis or if we speak out of anger with rough words, we damage our personal integrity and the image that people have of us.

Spots Don't Change

Within the working world, from the Internet to corporate America, our professional image holds boundaries of expectations. A mentor of mine from long ago, once advised that spots on animals don't change, and likewise characteristics of people don't change. If we set high standards of excellence in our professional lives, we must do everything possible to maintain those high standards. When we don't meet those standards, we must quickly recover - we must put our spots and our individual characteristics back into place as quickly and as completely as possible.

Integrity - Brand Equity

In the corporate world, building a brand, infusing all the right characteristics into the brand is one of the many stated goals. Within our personal lives and our professional lives, we too, as individuals have set the stage for our level of integrity and our own personal "brand equity". When we set high standards and promote those standards to others, we build a relationship built upon good will. If we tarnish this image, we must recover. The question is how can we recover. We are hurt, we are afraid, we have disappointed someone but most of all, we have disappointed ourselves.

3 Solid Steps to Recovering Your Personal or Professional Brand

Here are three solid steps to help us polish our personal brand and move forward:

#1 - Always Acknowledge the Problem And As Quickly As Possible

A greater mistake is to delay in the acknowledgment. Show your maturity and your leadership and own up to the mistake as soon as practical.

NOTE: If you are emotionally distraught, you must first regain composure. Take a moment to regroup, breath deeply, stand back and take an objective view. Talk to a confident to vent but hurry - time is wasting - the sooner you address your mistake, the sooner you can resume your duties and regain your personal equity.

#2 Accept Blame and Sincerely Apologize

Express sympathy, apologize sincerely and accept your share or even a greater share of the responsibility. Be careful in your apology - don't blame or bad mouth others.

#3 Be An Open Communicator - Have a Conversation - A Two Way Dialogue

You are injured and so too is the other party. Shoulder your mistake, perhaps you must also shoulder the mistakes of others, put your own anger aside and empathize with the other person. Look at the circumstances strictly from their point of view. Yes, you will be angry - often at yourself and perhaps others.

This is an opportunity for you to rise above your emotions. Showcase your emotional intelligence by putting your personal feelings aside and being an open communicator with the other person.

Listen and have a dialogue with the other person. No raised voices, no accusations, a true conversations. Keep you emotions at arms length and you will converse effectively with the other person or persons involved.

It is critical at this stage to allow the other party or parties to vent. Let them detail the inconvenience, the effect upon the organization, the effect upon their workload. You must acknowledge their pain and empathize with their pain.

Turn the Conversation to Action

An important element in this stage of recovery is after the pain is expressed, others have vented. Take a deep breath and change the direction of the conversation to action. Do the damage control and move forward with action steps taken together. Yes, you will have to shoulder the burden. Ask for their advice, include them in your action plan, ask for their help if appropriate. Shoulder as much of the work as possible - this will showcase your commitment to restoring your personal and /or professional brand equity or integrity.

Stated Goal - Rebuild Restore Trust

When we tarnish our personal brand, when we make a mistake, we break the trust and reliance from the others that we interact with. To regain this trust, it will be a rebuilding process. It will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time and you will recover.

3 Take A Ways to More Readily Recover From a Communications Fall

3 Take Aways

#1 Acknowledge and Apologize Quickly

Ignoring the problem only makes the problem worst. Quickly ascertain the problem and own up to it and apologize.

#2 Explain the Circumstance in Detail From Your Perspective

Explain your point of view, circumstances or misunderstanding if appropriate.

#3 Allow Opinions - Interact in a Dialogue - Create a Conversation

Allow for a conversation. Keep the topic light and objective. Listen and empathize to questions and opinions and respond appropriately. After the emotions and venting is played out and both sides have calmly stated their opinions, turn the conversation to action. Plan together the recovery. Ask for advise and follow-through on a timely manner that both of you agree upon.

© 2010 Kelly Kline Burnett


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    • rabiemahamad profile image


      8 years ago

      hi dear how are you

      Thank you I liked your great work

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      What a well written hub! Keeping communication lines and open-mindedness help solve problems indeed!

      Rated up and useful!

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      H P Roychoudhury,

      Your high marks I cherish - thank you so much! This is a rough subject yet all of us make mistakes. Beating ourselves up is not a positive action step. Moving forward seems impossible - I know but we can conquer anger - we have the ability within all of us.

      I pray this Hub is of help to others and for the sake of humanity - a practical Hub - with solid take-a-ways.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      What you said “Showcase your emotional intelligence by putting your personal feelings aside and being an open communicator with the other person” is a discreet of masterpiece. It is a great hub of guidance for everyone to follow for the sake of humanity, brotherhood, friendship and achievement.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      My parents didn't "teach" me sports - I too love that comment - it very true - IF we apply it to the other parts of our lives.

      I watched Bobby Jones and saw his errors and was amazed at how he recovered. He took his anger and changed it and became the most calm and respected golf player ever! We have the possibility to grow - if we recognize our mistakes and take corrective action.

    • lmmartin profile image


      8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      My favorite quote in this article is "If you can't accept losing you can't win." Nice article. Enjoyed. Wish everyone followed these precepts. Lynda


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