Clean Thinking, Problem Solving

The very next thing you do

So you made a bad choice. What now? How do you make up for it? How do you make it better?

The very next thing you do matters more than you think. It can color the entire aftermath; it can affect the perceptions of everyone involved going forward.

I know you will want to cringe! And that’s normal. But don’t indulge in hiding for too long.

The very next thing matters tremendously. What is the very next thing you should do?

Own it. All of it.


Taking responsibility is tough, but it’s the key between getting back into favor and creating the opportunity to make it all right, and… not.

You might feel like the first thing you need to do is start correcting things, putting it all back on the right path, reversing damage.

DON’T.

The first thing you need to to is ALWAYS take responsibility – and by that, I mean full accountability. Not just for your part in it. There is no room here for mentioning that certain parts of this were out of your control, or that you were subject to dependencies that were other people’s responsibility.

Nope. Just own whatever you did that you shouldn’t have, or what you didn’t do that you should have, and how it made it all come crashing down.


When you take ownership of it all, you don’t have to tell the other party that there were outside circumstances, and that others were involved. The other party will likely know, even if there are no itty bitty details about it on hand to confirm.


This seemingly small thing, which can get lost in all the other downstream actions that people feel they must do to make it right, makes the biggest difference over the long term. You might not see the effects right away, since after a bad choice, emotions might still be running high, but it is the single more important thing you can do to ensure your downstream corrective actions have the lasting impact you want them to have.

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