The Importance of Acknowledging Your Mistakes


Everyone makes mistakes from time to time; making errors is a natural part of life. However, how we handle circumstances in which we recognize that we’ve made a mistake reveals a lot about the type of person we are. Admitting when you’re incorrect requires a great level of honesty, integrity and guts - especially in the public sector. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that many leaders don’t do it.

Admitting when you’re incorrect fosters trust and demonstrates honesty. When leaders recognize that they’ve made a mistake, others casually notice as well. Alternatively, superiors who refuse to confess that they were incorrect give employees with the impression that their leaders value being right over being honest. Taking responsibility shows that leaders prefer integrity above the easy ways of blaming others or of hoping that errors go unnoticed.

Admitting when you’re wrong also demonstrates that you’re aware of, and thus able to learn from, your mistakes. This might help to boost your confidence in your leadership. According to the famous author Dale Carnegie, stated in the book "How To Win Friends and Influence People" hiding a mistake may appear to be more comfortable than recognizing it, but you will always feel uncomfortable within yourself. When you hide your faults and lie about them, you give rise to a feeling of guilt. It grows increasingly visible over time and eventually kills you.

So, admitting your faults might help you avoid this predicament. It will fortify you, and you will be able to face the world without feeling guilty or ashamed. It's hard to go on and create progress if you are haunted by previous remorse as a result of a mistake you made. If you haven’t accepted it yet, it will follow you everywhere you go. You will become engrossed in previous mistakes, preventing you from going forward.

The remedy is for you to confess you were mistaken as soon as possible. It will boost your ability to focus on the present rather than the past, and you will feel less stressed as a result.

This article is part of our
Business Coaching blog series. At Dataczar we talk to a lot of small businesses. We’ve found a few books that we keep recommending time and again. To better help our customers, we’ve added a Reading List for Small Businesses to our website. We encourage every small business owner to read and keep these timeless business books on their office shelf.