Mistakes. I believe they are a natural part of being human and no matter how much knowledge, experience, or foresight we have, we make mistakes.
I remember one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started out my career. I ended up deleting a database with 1,000s of customer records only to find out that our latest backup was months old. There was nothing for us to do but send a mass email to all our customers letting them know we inadvertently deleted their accounts and they would have to re-create them. Luckily it wasn't a career ending move and we were able to work through my mistake.
You would think I would be done making mistakes, but fast forward to my current role at Salesloft and sure enough I made a mistake a few months in, almost costing us a six-figure deal.
Why would I be sharing my mistakes with this large of an audience? For one, admitting that we make mistakes is good for others to hear, after all we are human. Second, making a mistake doesn't have to be a career ending move. Of course there are exceptions as somethings are ethically, morally, or just plain illegal when it comes to making mistakes.
What happens when you or one of your team members makes a mistake? First, you own that you made the mistake, straight up, no excuses. Second, you apologize to those that were impacted, whether that is internal or external customers or both. Third, you ensure that you don't repeat the mistake, so getting additional training or knowledge is key. And finally, as a leader, if a team member makes a mistake, help them regain their confidence and mend any relationships that may have been impacted with your influence.