Mistakes happen.  After all we are only human, aren’t we? But what if the mistake you make could be costly to your client?

I was in day two of my new contract with my newest (and biggest) client, I had been tasked with booking travel and accommodation.  All good, how on earth could I mess up.  Well, I did! I booked the accommodation for the WRONG night.  It was the saver option, so no amendments nor refunds.

I was devastated, gutted, embarrassed.  There were more emotions running through me at that moment than I could describe.

Luckily the mistake was rectified by my client (and my client didn’t cut all ties immediately, in fact, my reaction made her more certain I am right for her – bonus!).

So, how do you deal with mistakes when they happen?

Firstly, don’t panic!

Yes, I know, easy to say, but panicking is probably one of the worst things you can do.  It causes you to act irrationally.  If you feel you are going to panic, take deep breaths and think outside the box.

Is there a way to put right the mistake?

Second, be honest and admit your mistake.

After taking deep breaths and remaining calm, tell your client there’s been a mistake.  Even if you manage to rectify the mistake by yourself, still let your client know that it happened.  It covers you on all levels and shows your client you are honest.

Finally, learn from your mistake.

A mistake is pointless if you don’t learn from it.  Sometimes though, you need to make a mistake in order to learn something.

Pop a reminder in your diary, your phone, if you need to.  Chances are though, your mistake will remain with you for life.  It’s important not to let it overshadow your performance though.  Keep it there by all means but just as a nudge not to do it again.

I’ve certainly learned from my mistake, and won’t let it affect me in the future other than to ensure I don’t do it again.