by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

If you work in wellness long enough, you’re bound to make a serious blunder — an error that causes big problems for participants. How you respond to it can mean the difference between recovery and growth of your program or more negative effects and stagnation. Some ways to make the best of mistakes:

  • Be candid. Admit to the blunder publicly so there’s no question you understand you’re at fault.
  • Give a full, clear explanation. Don’t make excuses, or dance around the issue. 
  • Apologize. Be brief, direct, sincere.
  • Ask for input. If the solution isn’t obvious, ask those you’ve inconvenienced for ideas on how to fix the problem.
  • Make a promise. Pledge to correct, respond, or resolve it in some other way – then follow up promptly.
  • Offer restitution. This won’t be necessary for many errors, but if you’ve wasted someone’s time or money, it may be the only way to make things right.

Mistakes are inevitable. Committing to correct them quickly and to your clients’ satisfaction will do 2 things: enhance participant loyalty and cut down on future errors.

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