Learn From The Oscars - Recover From A Mistake At Work
27 February 2017
Even if you’re not a film fan, you’ll probably have heard about the mess up at Sunday night’s Oscars. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway proudly announced that the feel-good musical La La Land had scooped the Best Picture statuette. The cast and crew duly flooded the staged and gushed their thanks for the award.
Sadly, in the midst of the cosy glow of success, a producer of the Oscars had to dash onstage and announce that there had been a blunder. La La Land was not the winner. In fact, it was the coming of age drama, Moonlight that was going home with the gong.
Somewhat awkwardly, those involved with La La Land vacated the stage to make way for the rightful winners. It’s the first time such a mistake has happened in the Oscars 88 year history.
Beatty isn’t the first person to make such a mistake – remember when Steve Harvey wrongly crowned Miss Colombia the winner of Miss Universe? – and he probably won’t be the last. And, in actual fact, the debacle wasn’t even his fault. Accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, who are responsible for tallying the Oscars votes, have held their hand up.
This got us thinking. Whilst Warren Beatty can’t be ‘fired’ for reading out the wrong name, if an ordinary employee were to make a similarly massive error, would there be repercussions?
Obviously, there is only a very slim chance that you will find yourself making a mistake on quite as big a platform as Beatty. But if you find yourself at fault for a potentially damaging mistake at work, there are ways and means of dealing with the situation without managing to get your marching orders. Apologising and owning up to your error is the first step.
Of course, the outcome is entirely dependent on your boss and the type of workplace you belong to, but generally being an adult about it and admitting your mistake makes things a lot better, rather than trying to deny it or pass the buck.
The next thing is to seek advice quickly as to how to remedy the situation. If you can fix it, you should definitely do so. If you can redeem yourself by sorting things out – or even excelling on your next task – this will also help matters.
Then, the most important stage of making a mistake is to forgive yourself.
Everyone is human – and there is that famous saying, to err is human – so there are bound to be a few mix ups along the way in any job. Even at senior levels, wrong buttons can be pushed, reports can go missing, meetings can be missed and so on.
So, the next time you print off the wrong thing or book a meeting on the wrong day, put it in to perspective. At least you didn’t announce the wrong Oscar winner in front of an audience of tens of millions.
Now, that’s embarrassing.
Written By Mary Palmer