When You Make a Mistake, Say This…

Mistakes and errors are a part of everyday life. We cannot do without them no matter how hard we try because it is in our nature to fail sometimes, to say the wrong things, forget what shouldn’t be forgotten and so on. The ability to recognize and make proper corrections to such however is necessary to maintain human interactions, and communication – a key source for business success. “To err is human, (and) to forgive is divine” also goes a long way in describing the need for forgiveness when wrong has been done, with the condition that the wrongdoer recognizes his/her faults and seeks to make corrections.

In businesses, it is necessary to realize how impossible it is to please every customer or client. A theory in Economics portrays this by stating how human wants are “insatiable”, that is, cannot be satisfied or met in full potentials.  But then, how do you admit your mistake (shortcomings) in a polite way pleasing to customers? Sit back and enjoy, while I outline various possible mistakes that can be made, and ways to overcome them.

  1. Making a mistake you cant fix immediately

This might seem like a shameful act beyond correction-but with right words, Your ego stays intact, and everybody forgets  such error occurred. A Case where You  misspelt a client name and was mistakenly sent to the database without your knowledge- A timely apology would go a long way.


“ I’m deeply sorry for the mix-up, I thought I spelt it the right way: I’ll correct it when I have the chance”

  1. Promise and failing.

In your bid to meet customer’s needs and expectations, you promised a certain product or service. Everything goes on well, till you discover the chances of such promise(s) being a reality is quite slim.  At this point, You need to disclose to them the reason(s ) behind such failure, and also other service/product that can substitute what you promised .


“ Sadly, due to insufficient budget, Low materials, etc- I wont be able offer such products or services. I’m deeply sorry for any inconveniences this might/may cause. But on the bright side, I can offer…”

  1. Forgetting a task.

This is one mistake nobody can escape eventually. Your supervisor gives you a job to be completed say 2pm. You got so engrossed in another job, and maybe went to have lunch. Upon returning, your supervisor demands for it.

Admit and apologize with:

“I’m sorry for failing to meet schedules on project AX, I know this error would greatly affect the management, but I promise to get it done in an hour time”

  1. Making a wrong decision.

We all face challenges at some point of our lives, both at home, or at our place of work. Now, maybe out of fear or anxiety, we are pushed to making a decision- which turned out to be a wrong one This eventually affected our business or organization negatively. This can be so hurtful to every party involved including yourself.

Start like this:

“I’m displeased with my self for such wrong move. I didn’t review the options well enough to make such decision. I want to use this avenue to plead without everyone- I promise nothing of such would reoccur in future”   

Apologizing is not fun to do. But goes a long way in mending relationships and assuring quality services. You don’t need to say much per-say.  Just make it  Short and brief-  Carrying the right words. SORRY might seem  like a short word, but it is goes miles upon miles in resolving mistakes.