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    Consulting: What to do When You’ve Made a Mistake
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Consulting

    Consulting: What to do When You’ve Made a Mistake

    It’s no secret that everybody makes mistakes. The question is though, how do you own your mistakes in business? Consider particularly if you’re a consultant and you make a mistake for your customer. What do you do?

    The simplest answer is to come clean right away. You should never try to cover it up. Many times that is the first instinct for someone who does something wrong. The thought process is, “Did anybody notice?” If the answer was no, then commonly the thought process jumps to, “Nobody needs to know that I did this.” The fact of the matter is though that you are a consultant. You have been paid and now you’ve made a mistake that could affect your client. People are human and everyone, from the top down, is going to make mistakes in life and in work. Consultants included.

    The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to own what you’ve done wrong and then try to think of ways to mitigate that mistake. Always present it to the client. The key is to get in front of the problem. You should present your misstep in a way that says, “This is how I messed up and this is how I can fix it.”

    In order to be a successful consultant, you have to be a problem solver. You will wear a multitude of different hats as a consultant. This is the time to find your problem solving hat and begin to come up with ideas and strategies for how to fix the problem that you have created or contributed to. The hard truth is that, if you’re a good consultant, problem solving should come naturally in situations like these. If you’re not very good at problem solving, then you probably shouldn’t be a consultant. These situations will be wake up calls that set those meant to make it apart from the rest.  

    Working as a consultant, you are already constantly problem solving on behalf of your client.  There should be a natural flow then into problem solving any issues that you may have created. Mistakes will get made, across the board, in business. It’s the way that you handle yourself and handle the problems in the face of these mistakes that will reveal your character and your aptitude as a consultant. 

    What are your thoughts on the best approach to owning your mistakes as a consultant? Should you come clean to the client every time? Is there a different approach you prefer? Comment below!

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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

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    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.



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