So, you are a few months into your new role, you have worked your whole career to date to get there, and out of the blue you notice you have made a big mistake. Suddenly you feel your stomach doing somersaults - what to do next?
There is every chance you can resolve this easily, and no one need ever know. Often, we come across candidates that have done exactly that, and with the beauty of hindsight have lived to regret their actions for sometimes months, years or even a lifetime.
Everyone makes mistakes in life, fact. I personally don’t feel it is the mistake that should warrant all a managers focus, it is the lesson learnt, and how this will be avoided in future which is important in the interests of moving forwards. I feel that a mistake should not always solely focus on the individual, but managers, training and overall office culture.
For instance, if you are in an environment where you haven’t received a proper level of training, or perhaps work in an environment where you do not feel that you have an “open door” to that of senior team members, then this could breed an individual into feeling they have to take matters into their own hands, rightly or wrongly.
All too often I have come across Lawyers throughout my career where an honest mistake, has cost them reprimands on their practicing certificate. It is normally the cover up of the mistake and not making the relevant manager or SRA aware where the problems begin to occur.
So how do you prevent this as a manager, the simple answer is mistakes happen. Although you should have a culture which promotes openness, staff development and integrity. Contingency plans should be in place so when a potentially damaging mistake happens there is a reporting process in place.
I know I have made a mountain of mistakes over the years, and it is from these that I have learnt the lessons of which have made me successful in business. In our business we have a totally people centred approach, where mistakes are not something that punished or frowned upon, but more an opportunity to learn, develop and share this knowledge to know how we can improve.
Written by Managing Director Jason Connolly