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Own up to your mistakes

Listen as Gordon Graham discuses the inner strength it takes to admit when you’ve made a bad decision or used poor judgment

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for everyone in public safety. It is about owning up to your mistakes.

We’re all human. And we all make mistakes. And while it can be very difficult, you should accept responsibility for your actions and own up to your mistakes.

To some, it may sound like a weakness. But admitting when we’ve made a bad decision or used poor judgment takes great personal strength. It requires strength to admit an error and take responsibility when we’re wrong.

Avoiding responsibility for our mistakes generally requires humility. It is easier to shift blame away from ourselves. Right? Wrong. An uncorrected mistake can snowball into something much bigger. It can damage personal and professional relationships along the way. Eventually, it can damage or even end a career. The cycle of denial and blame only grows. Deflections, justifications, omissions, or other outright lies, will ultimately leave us in a much bigger mess.

So, let’s talk about the value of owning our mistakes. Your reputation and your integrity are your greatest assets. These are the foundations of trust others have in you. Do you want the sting of your mistake to fade quickly? Own it and let trust and honesty be what people remember of it.

Taking responsibility is a three-step process. First, we must admit that we did something wrong. We must be able to articulate the mistake. Second, we must acknowledge the effect of the mistake. Third, we must try to make it right or repair the damage. A proper apology goes a long way to mend fences.

Let’s get over the idea that only stupid people make mistakes. Making mistakes is simply a part of the learning process and evidence that you can work through something and improve.

If you make a mistake, own it, learn from it, move on, and do better next time.

And, that’s today’s tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

Get more tips from Gordon here.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.
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