How To Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake- 10 Helpful Tips

Written By Aleena

As I’m sure you’re aware, admitting that you made a mistake at work is difficult for most people. So how to tell your boss you made a mistake? Here’s how:

Don’t worry! It’s probably why your boss hired you in the first place. You know – because they wanted to hire someone who would be able to take accountability and say, “I did this wrong.”

How To Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake- 10 Helpful Tips

What happens if your boss doesn’t know that you made a mistake? Well, nothing because your boss doesn’t have to know.

There is this thing about mistakes: many are entirely behind a closed door.

But what happens if you do make a mistake that affects your boss? Well – here you have to take accountability and step up.

We will share some helpful tips to acknowledge your mistake and sound confident.

1. Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake With Confidence:

Sometimes when people make a mistake, they’re not entirely with it when admitting to it.

guy worried how to tell boss he made mistake

In that case, your boss might think that you don’t take accountability for the situation. And that is something you do not want to appear as if you don’t take responsibility for making mistakes.

2. Calm Yourself Down:

There is nothing more critical than calmed nerves. Yes, you committed a mistake, and you might have to pay for it.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to be extra hard on yourself and punish yourself. The best practice is to take deep breaths and relax.

You have to be ready for the outcomes you have to encounter.

3. How to Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake- 5 Easy Steps:

Can there be simple steps to tell your boss you made a mistake? Let’s divide them into sections:

1. This can be what led to the mistake

2. You will explain the mistake

3. You will ensure you hold yourself accountable

4. This can be a solutions proposal

5. You should be apologizing

Now practice these steps in front of the mirror or with your coworkers. You have to get it right, or else you will bear enormous consequences.

4. Prepare the Introduction:

When you visit your boss and tell them that you made a mistake, prepare an introduction.

It would be good practice to acknowledge a sad event or an unfortunate incident.

Address the theme and nature of your mistake and move on to the next part sharing the solutions.

5. How To Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake- Explain The Mistake:

Here comes the part where you have to explain what went wrong. Be clear and vocal. There shouldn’t be any ambiguities left. 

worried guy

You have to tell your boss what the mistake was and how it can affect the company or your coworkers, even your boss.

Admitting a mistake is an art. You should explain thoroughly but state everything in a manner that doesn’t sound too bad.

“I have created chaos, the delivery I had to send got lost, and now the clients will sue us. This is the end of us”. A statement like this can create havoc. 

Instead, say: 

“The delivery got lost due to my negligence, but I’m preparing for all the consequences we might face.”

6. Stop Digging Your Grave Deeper:

Yes, you made a mistake. Now, do you want to add fuel to the fire and mess things up more? If no, then do not dig too deep into the matter.

Share necessary details but do not share all of them. Keep the parts that can stay hidden, yet you can solve them later. 

Here you will have to have faith that you will make things right soon.

7. Acknowledge To Your Boss That You Made A Mistake:

Show that you are professional and you take full responsibility for the mistake. Not only this, let your boss know that you will do your best to make it up to him.

8. Share What Solutions You Can Think Of:

It would help if you showed that you are on top of the game and ready to solve any problems.

You can also point out what you will do to ensure that the mistake doesn’t repeat itself. Make sure there are no ‘what ifs’ left.

“I have thought of all possible solutions to this mistake, and here they are,” this sounds promising. Because even after committing a mistake, you are here to mend it and are all focused.

9. Get Ready For Consequences:

Even if you take responsibility for the mistake, the chances are that your boss might not let you get away with it.

It is okay; go on and accept any consequences of your actions. Do not break down and show that this hurts you a lot.

Stand firm, and accept the consequences. But learn from this, and promise yourself never to repeat such a mistake.

10. Offer Your Apologies To Your Boss:

All of us make mistakes. The best thing is to apologize. 

sorry sign

Now you should say sorry: “I am unfortunate to have let you down. But my best apology will be my changed behavior. 

I promise never to commit such a mistake again. And I will take all necessary steps to make it up to you and my company.”

When & How To Tell Your Boss You Made A Mistake?

There is no specific rule when to tell your boss you made a mistake.

It depends on two things:

– The significance of the mistake and its consequences

– How urgent it is

Reveal the mistakes as soon as possible can affect your or your company’s reputation.

There are many situations when you have to tell your boss you made a mistake.

1. Mistake In Plan Phase Of The Project:

We will divide the project into different phases and think of mistakes that you can make. The first one can be in the planning phase.

Not considering all the external factors can affect your company. In the end, the project can fail.

Admit that you did not do thorough research. And you ignored the necessary factors.

2. Mistake In Implementation Phase Of The Project:

A mistake in the implementation phase will be a mistake that will affect the quality of your project. But it is not yet too late.

Make sure you get things back on track and revert to the original plan. Fix all the flaws, make amends for this mistake and rectify them. 

If possible, take some help from other colleagues to get this done before time

3. Mistakes In Management Phase Of The Project:

The mistake in the phase will be in retaining your project and its prospective clients

In the management phase, you have to ponder all the previous steps and determine where you were wrong.

It would help if you thought of all the management techniques to run this project smoothly.

4. Mistake In the Final Stage Of The Project:

Even in the final stages of your project, you can quickly recover from mistakes. All you need to do is apologize for this mistake.

a girl working with fun

Please make sure there are no loose ends or unresolved issues with clients or customers.

It will help if you ask some questions that will give you insights on what to improve and how to improve. Taking feedback from your peers, clients and seniors helps a lot here.

Best Remedies and Actions When You Make A Mistake:

If you have kept your mistake a secret from your boss and the project fails, then it will not be suitable for anyone.

So first, if you can avoid this situation at any cost, do so. It will save you a lot of headaches.

Secondly, if your bosses or managers try to blame you or your team, you have to speak up.

When your managers try to do some witch hunting, you cannot simply remain silent and bear it.

Thirdly, if this happens, tell them that you are ready to take responsibility for your mistake. But don’t let your boss do anything at the cost of your team.

At last, if they keep on blaming you or your team, think about leaving the company and offer your resignation.

Final Word:

You know the deal: you make a mistake, and someone catches it. Then, someone tells your boss, and you lose your job and most of your dignity with it.

But another way to secure your job is to apologize to your boss immediately. Now how to tell your boss you made a mistake? 

Let your boss know you take full accountability and apologize to him. Afterward, offer sound solutions to make it up to your mistake. Promise never to repeat the error as well.

Know when to consider your mistake and when to avoid it. We hope the next time you make a mistake, you get out of it without much trouble.

There are some remedies you can do to avoid committing mistakes. 

It is also essential to realize which mistake you should tell your boss. It can be all the business phases of your project like the planning phase, management phase, etc.

Last Updated on 2 days by Shahzaib Arshad


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