Mistakes are a fact of life … they happen!
It is however important to learn from our mistakes, which is a natural process that will result in us getting better.
If we don’t learn from our mistakes then we miss a huge opportunity … and yet many people fall into this trap.
Accuracy is extremely important no matter what job you have … if you mislead co-workers, your boss, your client because of mistakes then there can be repercussions. In some circumstances accuracy is CRITICAL … 99% accuracy might be great for many professions, but for an aircraft pilot or a ship’s captain it isn’t great enough!
How do you go about improving your accuracy so that you make less mistakes?
1. You have to CARE! You cannot adopt an attitude that accepts mistakes, you need to want to be “mistake free”.
2. You need to LEARN… that means actively understand why the mistake happened and making sure it doesn’t happen again!
3. Sometimes you need to SLOW DOWN. Many mistakes happen because work is rushed, or because the person doing the work has not taken time to become accurate in their process. in the same way that children learn to walk before they run, it is important that we learn to do our job RIGHT first and THEN get faster!
4. Practice! If you perform some tasks infrequently then you are more likely to make mistakes … so practice, and take special care on those kinds of activities.
5. Check your work! it is easy to complete a task and submit it … but if you take a little extra time to double check your work you will reduce the margin for error.
6. Along with #5, develop little “checks” that work for you. eg. if you are providing numbers in a report is there a “rule of thumb” you could create that would show if anything looks strange in the results?
7. Use spellchecker…ALWAYS!!! This is a habit everyone should adopt!
8. Along with #7 … don’t rely solely on spellchecker, read your document AFTER the spellchecker has done its thing. The words in your sentence might be real words, just not the ones you wanted!!!
9. Develop checklists for yourself. If your job requires 5 steps in the process for every transaction use a checklist to make sure you completed ALL 5 steps EVERY time. pilots use these, doctors use these … and a mistake from either of those professions could be VERY nasty!
10. Take advantage of “best practices”. Find how other people do the job and learn from them, ask for help, get a mentor … anything that will help you to get better at your job.
“We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” L.M. Montgomery