This blog reflects on life at work at comments on the latest news that shapes my 9-5 working day in a Corporate Communications consultancy.

About Me

I am a born and bred South African who has always loved to read and write. As a child my mother used to read to me and my siblings, from classics like the “Lord of the Rings” but later also from her own stories. She would write children’s stories and then use us as her test audience, but I loved to hear what she had written long after my siblings had tired of it. So I grew up in an environment of reading and writing, which inspired my love of these things. I hope to write a great book some day, and have learnt first hand the determination and will that it takes. My love of English inspired me to continue my study of it at university. I majored in Law and English in a BA degree at UCT where I found that I took to English much more than law. I enjoyed learning about South Africa’s history and the development of our liberal Constitution, which increasingly made me committed to the hope this country has for the future. Ideally, I’d like to find myself in a job where I am able to write; that allows a good mix of time spent with people and being able to work on my own.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Making mistakes

Yesterday a colleague gave me some good advice. When you make a mistake, say you've made a mistake. Admitting it immediately will allow the team to deal with the problem before it gets any bigger. Trying to cover it up will only make it worse. At the end of the day, it's about serving the client, not about your ego. And he emphasised that he learnt the most through making his own mistakes. Celeste wrote in one of her posts that she felt a key to her success was the ability to learn quickly and not make the mistake again.

(This advice wasn't given in response to a particular mistake I'd made, but just as a general comment).

Interestingly, I was chatting to my Dad about this when I got home. I said I thought it would be more difficult to admit a mistake as a new employee or an intern, as you would be trying extra-hard to impress. He disagreed. As a new person, people expect you to make mistakes. As a high-level executive, you are supposed to know what's going on.

My feeling is that it takes a bigger person to admit their mistake than those who try to hide it.

1 comment:

Adam N. Mukendi said...

Hi Sue,
I like this post. But you don't need this sentence;"This advice wasn't given in response to a particular mistake I'd made, but just as a general comment".
With this sentence you are giving complementary information which seems to show that you would not say about your mistake once it happen. Let us believe that you can make mistakes even if you did not make them yet. Your Dad was right but naturally we are so defensive when we have something to prove.