Question: What are your best tips for recovering from major mistakes?
Take a 'Lesson Learned' Approach
"Do not stick your head in the sand when you make a mistake in business. Develop a post mortem or 'Lessons Learned' document to reflect on what you did, what went wrong and why. Solicit reputable feedback from business associates and mentors. Understanding the key takeaways from a mistake can prevent continued failure in a specific area of your business. "
Acknowledge Them, Learn from Them and Move On ... Quickly
"The worst thing you can do when you make a mistake is to cover it up. This is followed closely by dwelling on it forever. As soon as you make a mistake acknowledge it to whomever you need (including yourself), identify the lessons you've learned from it, and then forgive yourself and let it go. The faster you go through this process, the more you'll find mistakes can help you."
Smile and Don't Do It Again
"Mistakes should be expected and welcomed. The best entrepreneurs are the ones that know how to bounce back as quickly as possible. Accept the mistake, engrain it in your mind forever and continue moving forward ... until the next major mistake. "
Keep a Failure File and a Success File
"I have a failure file where I document all of my failures -- why they happened and what I can learn from them. This helps identify patterns. I also have a success folder with projects I'm most proud of. I believe we should cultivate our mistakes instead of avoiding them, that is how we learn from them."
Don't Be Defensive
"If a customer calls and points out a flaw in one of our products or shares a problem about a recent interaction with our company, I listen carefully and think of it is as an opportunity to make something better rather than an indictment of who we are. Admitting that my company can improve shows customers we are human and proactive, and allows my employees to react with the same confidence. "
"Composure in my business is everything. In the restaurant industry chances are slim that a customer will know of every mistake made. But your composure, if not managed correctly, can reveal your mistakes to the public eye, versus remaining hidden and fixed behind the scenes."
Review Major Mistakes with Mentors
"It's hard to learn while in crisis mode, but we have to address mistakes in the moment. Take the time to talk through the situation, especially with someone with a little more experience handling such things. Reviewing things with a mentor can be the best way to turn a mistake into a learning experience."