Thursday, February 24, 2011

Regaining Lost Credibility

To err is human said the English writer Alexander Pope (1668 – 1744). Let’s assume you have erred at your workplace thereby losing your credibility and trustworthiness in front of your subordinates, peers and supervisors. Is there any way to regain the lost credibility ?

While forgiving could be divine (as said by the same English writer), we need to get back on track and regain the trust. Here are a few thoughts on the same:

Have an open mind: The important thing is to have an open mind which accepts feedback and criticism. Accepting feedback about themselves is the toughest thing for most people. However, this is one aspect of your personality that will help you go a long way be it in your personal or professional life. Things happen. It’s perfectly ok and the right thing, to realize your mistake first, accept it from your end and be ready to deal with some flak initially.

Own up: Do not give excuses, justify or rationalize your mistakes regardless of circumstances. You must own up your mistakes even if the mistake has only been 1%. Owning up your errors is the first step towards regaining lost credibility. It means, you are ready to accept responsibility for your actions. Apologize and let others know how you feel about your actions.

Corrective Action: Have a corrective action plan in hand and make that double quick. Do not wait for others to get back to you on what you should be doing. Present your plan to them and let them know what concrete steps you are willing to take to correct or rectify the situation. Get them to feel that you are genuinely interested in ensuring that no such occurrences are repeated from your end.

Time Frame: A constructive plan needs have a reasonable time frame. Any plan which does not mention time frames/dates is worth less than the paper it is printed on. A plan with detailed dates, gives a sense of urgency and purpose towards your efforts. It shows that you are serious about completing the task and are willing to set deadlines for the same.

It’s important not to feel antagonistic about events which have led to you, loosing credibility at your workplace. Neither should you blame others for what has happened and nurse any unnecessary grudges. Focus 100% of your efforts and energy towards your action plan. Let your actions speak for you.


  1. Nice insight ! But isn't it that people will still look at u with suspicion...

    but it is correct that one needs to do the needful...and hope for the best !

  2. It entirely depends on the severity of the mistake and tolerance level of others towards it. If you have otherwise been good and there is only an aberration, then the probability of getting a second chance is high. We must make the most of that. This post is all about making best of use of that second chance.