There will come a time when even the most conscientious employee will make a mistake at work. I am not talking about a minor mistake or error at work. We are talking about a HUGE mistake that could cause major problems for customers or management to correct.

28609014_sIn every day situations where you make errors, you can tell your boss about it. The discussion may be uncomfortable because no one likes to fess up to a mistake at work. You could try the email approach, however, I would suggest that a face to face is the best solution, followed by a phone conversation if you are not able to meet in person.

Here are some tips about having a difficult conversation.

Now let’s talk about the HUGE mistake at work. You know which one this is because you heart beats wildly when you think about it and what you need to do to correct it.

You may have a fleeting moment about trying to cover it up. Deep down you know you could not do that and live with your decision.

Before you go into your boss and talk about your huge mistake at work, consider what you can do to fix it. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of time because every passing minute means that someone or something could get worse.

In this case, it’s better to get ahold of your boss and tell him or her of the situation. Let them know you want to come up with a longer-term solution but for now you believe it’s better to find a quick fix together.

Before you approach your boss about the mistake at work, take a deep breath to calm yourself. Write down some notes about the situation and how you want to explain it. Your notes will keep you focused on the facts of the situation.

If your boss is not available, find someone who can reach and let them know that you need to speak with them immediately. If the situation is not urgent, get on their calendar later that day or first thing the next morning.

One thing to keep in mind is that none of us are perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Honest mistakes at work can be forgiven or used as a learning experience. Dishonest mistakes are ones that most employers cannot overlook for forgive. Mistakes that are covered up are viewed as dishonest mistakes because the employee knowingly led someone astray.