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The Best Way To Tell A Co-Worker They Made A Mistake

Someone you work with will inevitably make a big mistake at some point. Do you tell them about it?

The performance review isn’t the time to criticize, especially if you’re the manager. Sometimes, avoiding an awkward conversation is more accessible by looking the other way. When you ignore someone’s errors, you may only be costing your team more work.

The ability to provide constructive feedback is what makes a good manager great. Becca Carnahan, a career coach, said, “If you don’t help your team learn and improve, you’re doing them a disservice. You’d be stagnating their growth, and no one wants that.”

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Ideally, your co-worker should learn what they did wrong soon after they make a mistake, both to prevent it from happening again and to maintain your relationship. Here’s how:

Whenever You Are Angry Or Frustrated, Don’t Bring Up The Mistake

Talking professionally about a mistake is difficult when your emotions are running high. Shapiro Negotiations Institute managing partner Andres Lares recommended putting things in perspective before the discussion. He said, “It’s okay to make mistakes and move forward. If it helps, do some activities you enjoy before the meeting to get in a positive frame of mind.”

Analyze How Important The Mistake Is

The best way to respond to your colleague’s mistake is to ask yourself: Are these mistakes unintentional or intentional? The occasional accidental error is part of being human, but a deliberate oversight that results in harm or financial loss may require immediate escalation and a loop in human resources.

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Offer Your Feedback And Be Part Of The Solution

It can be humiliating and isolating to make a big mistake. Therefore, let your co-worker know you have their back is essential. It’s said that sharing a problem is halving it. It is said that taking a kind approach to a colleague’s mistake motivates them to do better and shows a colleague you’re a team.