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Time Management and Productivity Pro Laura Stack Discussed How to Recover From Career Mistakes
Time management and productivity expert Laura Stack says that considering the many balls most people juggle every day, dropping one every now and then isn’t the end of the world, Mistakes, however, are not the end of the world.
In her newest blog, “Five Ways to Bounce Back When You Drop the Ball,” Stack reminds her readers that balls have a tendency to bounce, making them easy to catch on the rebound.
“We are high-performing individuals, certainly, but still just flesh and bone, and occasionally we drop the ball,” Stack says.
To rebound, Stack offers five tips to get back in the game:
1. Stop and think. Stack suggests that once an individual becomes aware of a mistake, remaining calm is very important. She recommends stepping away from ground zero without freaking out, to ponder the situation and decide on the best course of action. Stack also says sticking to the standards—taking a deep breath, remaining calm, and resisting an emotional reaction—can reduce the possibility of making an emotionally-
2. Face the music. It is never acceptable to make excuses or try to dodge responsibility for a mistake made, whether or not the individual’s job is at risk. She advises her readers to apologize to all coworkers who were affected by the mistake, regardless of the level of error for which the individual is responsible. A sincere apology, without a sarcastic or indignant undertone, is the only acceptable response, Stack says, while she advises not to over-apologize either.
3. Try to compensate. When an individual makes a particularly severe mistake at work that causes a serious problem to others, Stack suggests some brainstorming to come up with ideas that may help correct or buffer the error. With corrective measures in hand, Stack suggests the individual should present them to a supervisor privately. Even if none of the ideas are practical or workable, the message has been sent that the mistake maker regrets their actions and is anxious to take corrective measures. Stack adds that the individual should be willing to accept reasonable disciplinary action as well, particularly if their job is at risk.
4. Look for the bright side. Experience has often proven that most negative events usually have some positive effect, Stack says. Knowing how to avoid a repeat of the mistake in the future is perhaps at the top of this list, followed by the dose of humility earned in the process.
5. Forgive yourself. Stack reminds her readers that everyone makes mistakes, but brooding over them only results in further damage to productivity.
“Get over it and rebound,” Stack says. “Once you’ve repaired your error and learned your lesson, move on confidently to your next adventure.”
Since the adage “to err is human” is a familiar one, Stack reminds her readers to remember it when a workplace mistake threatens to undermine their self-worth. While no one should casually shrug off workplace goofs, even the worst errors deserve forgiveness, particularly from within.
“Self-recrimination gets you nowhere,” Stack says. “Even if you’ve done something spectacularly bad, even if you suspect (or know) you’ve set back your career, follow the advice of the old ‘High Hopes’ ant chant: ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!’”
For information on workplace productivity, visit TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”