It’s so hard to find people who are willing to admit their mistakes. What happened to taking ownership of your own mistakes?

It appears to me that many organizations are training their customer-service staff not to admit mistakes. The logic is probably that admitting mistakes means taking responsibility for the wrong-doing.

For many reasons, many people find admitting their mistakes difficult (especially during a negotiation). This is probably due to the cultural assumptions that we have when we make a mistake. Mistakes and failures bring about shame to oneself. We have been taught since young that we ought to feel guilty about failure and should do everything we can to avoid failing.index

Think of the times you failed to do accomplish something when you were young. How did your parents react to you? What did your peers say about you? How did you feel about your failure?

This strong combination of shame and unavoidable setbacks while attempting a challenge drives people to give up their goals. They are not prepared for the mistakes they will make on their way to success.

How does this apply to negotiation?negotiation-skills

Admitting a mistake you have made during a negotiation is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, its a sign of strength. It reflects greatly on you. The other party will see you more as a human when you acknowledge your own faults.

When you do acknowledge your own fault, you demonstrate courage. More importantly, you portray yourself as someone with integrity. Maintaining integrity is essential to becoming a good negotiator.

Master negotiators admit their mistakes easily. They understand that by admitting their mistakes, they will enhance the results of their negotiation. By doing so, they also accelerate the progress of the negotiation instead of finding ways to cover up their mistakes. This is a win-win situation.

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.” – Mark Twain