When we make mistakes it’s good to own them. Don’t dawdle, don’t justify, don’t downplay – just own it quickly and honestly.
A couple of weeks ago we made a mistake at work and we inconvenienced one of our Residents in a big way. It was a perfectly honest mistake, but in the process it appears we may have broken their TV. Not good, not good at all.
In my experience, these things happen once a year or so -you know, where your company screws up royally and you’re terribly embarrassed.
You have a few choices with how to respond, but I think the best option is to honestly and sincerely own that moment.
The TV in question turned out to be a 32″ lower end model that had a few years on it. Once I received it I googled the model and found a replacement for $225. Eh, just replacing it felt… weak sauce. Here was an opportunity to turn a terrible situation and a story this person will tell, for years to come, into an epic for the ages. What to do? I googled 42″ TVs and found a sweet 1080p SMART Vizio on Amazon Prime for $449, delivered in 48 hours. This was a massive upgrade and it felt amazing hitting the “confirm purchase” button.
In addition, we handled the rest of the remaining issues and then gave them $100 to Bonefish/Outback as the Resident’s family were in town and it gave them the opportunity to treat. It was a small cost in the grand scheme of things and it provided a great feeling to both the Resident and my Management team.
When I initially met the Resident, immediately following our mistake, I apologized profusely and told him that it was my goal to make sure by the end of our process that he would actually be happy we managed to screw up so perfectly. He gave me a quixotic head tilt, but I assured him it would be possible, to let us take care of the situation and see what happens. Having come through in multiple ways I’m incredibly proud to say “Goal accomplished!” and almost wishing now that we screwed up like this more often.