Don’t be a Weiner at work

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It’s tough to own up to a mistake. It’s embarrassing and humbling, and often there are consequences to face after taking responsibility for a wrongdoing. That’s why sometimes, people ignore or even flatly deny mistakes they’ve made — even when seemingly caught red-handed — hoping to somehow avoid the repercussions of their actions.

However, like Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and former International Monetary Fund Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn have demonstrated in the news recently, denying a mistake — especially when others are pretty certain that you’re the guilty party — can often make a bad situation infinitely worse. When the truth comes out, you not only look like a fool, but a liar as well.

So next time you make a mistake at work, own up to it — it’ll save you trouble, it’ll save your professional image and it may even save your job. Since ‘fessing up is one of those things that’s easier said than done, though, we gathered some expert advice to help you do it right.  

1. Admit to the mistake quickly. Once you realize you’ve messed up, it’s best to tell your boss as soon as possible. “If your boss hears it from you rather than others, she or he will trust you more,” says Joseph Grenny, BusinessWeek leadership columnist and co-author of The New York Times best-seller “Crucial Conversations.” Confessing right away will not only prove to your boss that you’re trustworthy, but also that you’re responsible and concerned about correcting your actions.

2. Overcompensate for your mistake. After you admit to the mistake, be fully prepared to rectify your actions by whatever means necessary. This isn’t the time for pride or ego. “If a customer was hurt, for example, surprise and delight them in how you respond to their concerns,” Grenny says. “And let your boss know as soon as possible what you’re doing to fix the problem so she or he recognizes you’re owning the problem you created.”

3. Share what you learned. Once you’ve rectified the situation, sit down with your boss and identify what went wrong, how it went wrong and how things will be different in the future, Grenny says. Explaining that you completely understand how you made the mistake and how you can avoid making it again will help restore your boss’s faith in you.

4. Ask for feedback. After sharing what you learned, “ask the boss what other lessons you should draw from this experience,” Grenny says. She might have her own perspective on the situation.

Did you make a mistake at work and confess? How did it work out for you? Tell us about it in the comments section.

37 Comments
  1. This works extremely well for those who are in relationships or marriages as well. Bottom line: it’s character that counts Don’t be a weiner anywhere, anytime to anyone. As the old saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy.”

    • His family must be embarrassed about it, friends too, co-workers too, of course, the man himself, too. What was he thinking of besides kinky, horny hook ups, all that while?

      Really, the man’s a gay bastard! Girls getting too young for his old appendage!

      From Alice B. lied to!

  2. Thank you! Excellent counsel! Good old fashion truth repackaged my friends:”Thou shalt not lie or bare false witness”…if it’s the truth it doesn’t who says it. TX agn!

  3. They re (the media) are really having fun at Weiner’s expense…its not hard to come up with this stuff when his last name is Weiner…lol

  4. I used to work as a recording agent, where clients would send me a document to be recorded and a check for the fees. One time I made a mistake on the calculation, and $200 of the client’s money was put into our company’s account. I stared at the receipt, and knew I had to own up to the mistake. I contacted the main office, explained to them what happened, and asked that they write a check to the client for the $200. Since the money was in our account, we wouldn’t lose anything. I felt bad making the mistake, but good about owning up to it. Later when a client wrongfully accused me of stealing, the accounting head told them straight up that if it was anyone else, she may believe it, but not with me. That is what happens when you are honest and build that trust. Everyone makes mistakes – own up.

  5. Well, it all depends on the company you work for. For instance, recently I made a mistake that really wouldnt impact much and owned up to it. I was summarily berated for bringing it up instead of covering it up as I could have done. And later written up for the mistake. My employer does things like this on a daily basis because we are subject to scrutiny by a state regulatory agency, and any mistake can get the company fined. No matter how minor.

  6. I once did something I shouldn’t have in work. When my manager approached me and questioned me about it I started to lie. Then I immediately told the truth about what happen. Doing this probably saved my job, it could have been a lot worst if I lied.

  7. I work for a company where trust is not only golden, but necessary. I have made several huge mistakes in the past, and my supervisors have allowed me to learn from them while also correcting the problem. I am a witness that telling the truth at the beginning of a situation shows the higher-ups that you are always accountable for your actions and that you also have the company’s best interest in mind. Trust is a muscle that has to be exercised daily.

    • What a stupid comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why not just grow up & learn to deal with REAL Life…… Idiots like you make the world a more difficult and more distressing place to live/exist … TIME FOR YOU TO GET A LIFE !

  8. Once I had an affair at office (i work for the government) and was caught in the security camera… I had to do whatever it takes to keep it private and so I had to overcompensate a few security guards… had to lie to my husband and kids why I dont want to work anymore… had to quit my government job before things blew up in my face… started acting patriotic so that no one will talk bad about me …. and the result is that i wrote 2 books and i am a multi-millionaire today…

    so do a mistake, lie your a** off, condemn anyone who accuses you to be anti-american and write books about it “Confessions Of A Troubled Mind”… I bet ya that it will be most lucrative deal in your entire life…

    Sarah P
    WE THE PEOPLE….

  9. Every single member of Congress is a liar……..

    All the idiots throwing stones while living in their glass house……..

    What a joke!!!!

  10. @alice, he should kill himself? seriously? that’s a sick attitude.

    he’s a politician … ergo, he’s a liar. we all know this already and i’m not sure why everyone’s so shocked about that. (seriously, did you *just* find this out?) as far as facts that politicians espouse “trust but verify”.

    also, it was his (covered) appendage, anyone over the age of 18 has seen one already, every boy and man has one. i’m not exactly why this is so scandalous. poor taste? yes. unprofessional? definitely. big deal? not really (other than the affront to the woman involved). why america is so OK with mindless violence but not someone flashing their boob or boner is so bizarrely funny to me.

  11. What we need is more people like Weiner in the military. Then we could name it after that great Senator, Dick Army.

  12. Your argument doesn’t hold water.

    Strauss-Kahn committed a crime and was about to become an international fugitive. There isn’t a legitimate comparison to this and what Weiner did. And rape isn’t a “mistake”!

  13. I agree with you about most of the article. Most people don’t take responsibility for mistakes when they make them. But, I have to agree with sbc! Strauss-Kahn did NOT make a mistake — he committed a crime (nor did Weiner — he just showed poor judgement and a lack of moral authority). These guys should admit their bad choices and be willing to accept their consequences. It’s not as easy as admitting a “mistake”

  14. Job hunters can learn super-valuable advice from Rep. Anthony Weiner.

    I knew something was wrong with Rep. Anthony Weiner about 1-2 years ago, when I first saw him on TV. I noticed something about him was amiss, because he pronounced his name bizarrely incorrectly.

    Actually, the German name Weiner ALWAYS is pronounced like “whiner.” Reason = In German, “ei” is pronounced as though there only is an “i.” I found it odd that he said his name as though it was “Wiener,” [pronounced "wee-ner"], although he spelled it “Weiner” [which should be pronounced like the word "whiner"].

    In my new book — JOB HUNTING MADE EASY — I recommend job applicants neither do nor say anything odd or too unusual or else they could stick out as ‘something’s not right’ about that applicant. Well, Weiner’s mispronounciation of his last name certain was an odd Freudian slip — that helped summarize his downfall!

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  24. I believe in honesty in the work place so much as to the point to where I have allways been honest and fessed up to my mistakes before any one would even notice .In doing this , it created a level of esteem w/ my superiors to where they knew when i spoke it could be taken as gold . Being a contractor , it allowed me to do things such as recieve payment for tasks to be performed before i had a chance to even visualize the job site . and we arent talkin chump change . 1,000′s of dollars . yeah , BIG thumbs up to honesty ! its a proven fact , IT WORKS !

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