Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about talking about a coworker’s mistake:
I am starting week four at a job. One of my co-workers said to others in my new dept. that the email I sent out was wrong. I went to her when I learned of my mistake and asked her how I can help her. She smiled at me and said nothing its okay. I overheard her telling everyone that the email that “she” sent out was wrong. How do I handle this situation? I want to confront her and tell her that her actions hurt me and demeaned me in front of my new depart. But am unsure of the words to use. Please help.
Signed, Time Has Passed But It Still Hurts
Dear Time Has Passed But It Still Hurts:
If time has passed,don’t make an issue of this. You are new and have learned from your mistake. Being new, you probably will make other mistakes. Rather be responsible, friendly and supportive of your coworkers. Unfortunately, we sometimes talk too much, and there is a tendency even of “good” people to talk about what was wrong rather than what was right.
Hopefully, what you overheard will not continue. If it does, you can tell you coworker, “Jane, I very much appreciated you bringing that email mistake to my attention. I value your understanding, saying that it was “nothing “, and if you see any others, please speak to me rather than others about them. I’m sure you can understand that that is the right thing to do.” If you are dead sure you overheard her pointing up your mistake(s) again, then you can confront her, saying, “I hope I misheard. I don’t want my mistake to be a subject of gossip. Can I count on you not to do that?” Don’t accuse her. Be brief.
If she says you misheard. Don’t argue. Simply say,” I’m glad of that.” The reason you felt hurt was that you want to be in good standing in the eyes of coworkers. So does you coworker. Allow her to save face and put this behind her and you. Focus on doing your job and learning from coworkers. Think team. Act team. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that what you want for your coworkers and your self.