4 Steps to Transform a Mistake into a Learning Experience


Have you ever been on the wrong side of a mistake that seemed unfixable? In her blog, Beth Kanter covered a slip-up on the part of dosomething.org. The organization fired off a text message campaign to over 2 million more people than they meant to. The company then had to convert this issue into a “teachable moment” and learned to mind the following four steps:

1) Reach out to the offended group

Yes, this may be a hit to your self-esteem, and yes, you may encounter some very difficult conversations in this step, but it is extremely important to take fault for your organization’s mistakes. Find a way to ensure people know that you messed up.

2) Find a way to apologize

Another step where you may have to swallow your pride. Use your organization’s personality to put together an apology that will make people laugh. The most important thing here is that people feel that they were personally reached out to.

3) Improve upon the procedures that caused the mistake

Clearly, you do not want this disaster to happen again. Pour over your process and procedures that you used and ensure nothing like this mistake will ever occur again.

4) Ensure a checklist is completed before sending another possibly controversial message

Before shooting off another message, complete the following checklist: check for language, settings and context & segmentation. Once all the boxes are checked, send away!

About the Author:

 Elizabeth (Libby) Hewitt is a junior at the University of Iowa, studying Journalism & Mass Communications and Studio Art. She is hoping to pursue a career in Public Relations after attending graduate school.



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