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Admitting your Own







Guidelines : Admitting your Own

Admitting Your Own Errors

Guidelines

  • Report and correct the error immediately. Delay usually compounds the problem.
  • Evaluate the seriousness of your mistake; explain and apologize accordingly. Don’t be dramatic. Remember all errors are not created equal. Overblown apologies and explanations sound insincere.
  • Don’t promise the error will never occur again. Rather, state what actions you have taken to correct the problem this time and to make its recurrence less likely.
  • Explain how the error happened and then focus on the correction. When the situation has political undertones to your disadvantage, play down the error with a matter-of-fact tone. After all, everybody makes mistakes. On the other hand, a poor-me approach can work sometimes–that is, exaggerate the seriousness of the error and be profuse in your apology so your reader must console you that things “aren’t that bad.” However, “bleed” only when you know the politics involved and the likely reaction of your reader to your play for sympathy.
  • Take responsibility for errors that come from your office; don’t pass the buck to others even though they may have made the error. After all, you are the supervisor.

Example 1: Sample Letter for Admitting your Own Error

Memorandum

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: Incorrect Number on Pumping Order

Yes, my scheduler did indeed make an error on the attached pumping order; he used the custody index number rather than the transfer code.

I have cautioned him about confusing the numbers on future orders and have asked him to check his hard copy of all orders after they have been entered into the computer.

Since we’ve had trouble before, I should have given closer supervision here. Please let me know if you uncover still other such errors; I’ll follow them up immediately.

Example 2: Example of Letter for Admitting your Own Error

Memorandum

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: Patton Island Sketches

In reviewing the Patton Island sketches forwarded to your office yesterday, I notice I’ve made a miscalculation on the sleeve length regarding attachment of the clip angles. The correct length should be 28″ rather than 29″. The shorter length will allow the angles to sit nearly flush against the left side.

Everything else about the sketches seems to be in good order, but I did want to get this information to you immediately, even though I know you won’t review the plans for another few weeks.

Example 3: Admitting your Own Error Letter

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State, Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Ms. Timmons:

We are please that you purchased a Correct copier for your office, and apologize for the problems you have experienced with its sorting trays. Such a defect does not typically occur with our merchandise.

We have ordered a replacement copier to be shipped directly to your office at no charge to you. As the unit is not scheduled to ship for another four weeks, we have arranged for a rental unit to be delivered to you through Office Annex. We will be paying all rental costs. We hope this arrangement will be satisfactory to you. Thank you for allowing us the chance to correct this problem for you.

Sincerely,

Example 4: Letter of Admitting your Own

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State, Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Mr. Gunther:

We would like to apologize for the incorrect billing of your account. The error was based on an incorrect data entry and has been brought to the attention of both the shift supervisor and the employee responsible for the mistake.

Your account has been updated to reflect the correction. Thank you for your patience.

Yours Truly,

Example 5: Letter for Mistake

Memorandum

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: Deduction For Benefits Package From Check # 5348

As you pointed out in your memo of July 15, payroll did indeed deduct twice as much as you were obligated to pay into your employee benefits package. We can handle the correction of this error in one of two ways:

• Payroll can issue you a reimbursement check for the amount of $___________.

• Payroll will credit your employee benefits package so that no deduction will appear on your next check.

Please let payroll know by 5:00 p.m. today which method of reimbursement you would prefer. We apologize for the mistake, and appreciate your understanding in this matter.

     

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