Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mistakes

We all make mistakes. Very few are inclined to admit it. Even fewer are inclined to admit it when we make a mistake in our professional capacities that will inconvenience our clients. Instead we make excuses, blame technology, blame other people, create adversaries where there really are none or, in some cases, just flat out lie. Why do we do this?

Why is it so hard for us to tell our clients, "sorry about the inconvenience but I messed this up and have to redo it." We are all human, right? We know that everyone makes mistakes. I am no immune here. I sometimes hesitate when I know I've made a mistake and will cause an inconvenience to my clients in order to repair the mistake. A few weeks ago I had just bought a new iPad. I shot some video on it at a clients house (my listing). I made a mistake in the information I said during the video. It was a big enough mistake that it would be very noticeable. I tried everything from dubbing over my voice to cutting out the little section of voice to putting in a caption with a correction on it. At the end of the day I finally, after wasting several hours, just called and told them I was not happy with the clip and I wanted to re-shoot it. They said, "no problem" and I went out the next day and re-shot it.

I started thinking about this. Perhaps my admission and subsequent willingness to fix it instead of cover it up is a good thing. It communicates to my clients that when I mess up (not "if I mess up"), I will do what it takes to make it right. Thats actually an admirable trait, right? I would rather have a professional that fixes stuff than one that sweeps it under the rug.

What do you think? Does it lower your opinion of a professional when they don't admit their mistakes? Does it raise your opinion of them when they do admit it and then tell you how they will fix it? Do you believe that "true professionals" shouldn't make mistakes within their profession?

1 comment:

Ryan Byrn said...

In my consulting I've noticed that when I admit to a mistake or claim credit for someone else's mistake it serves as a stop-gag for the conversation. People are so put off by someone taking responsibility for a screw up I find it almost amusing. When I'm on the flip side of this conversation I move on to the next task and don't think of it again.

Great article JH.

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