The Immeasurable Things: Admitting you are wrong

I don’t watch a lot of sports but one story has captured my attention recently. It was a game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians. In this game the First Base Umpire clearly made a call in error in calling the runner Jason Donald Safe.

Later Joyce publicly apologized to the Pitcher Armando Galarraga and said, “I was wrong, and I cost him a perfect game.” WOW. You don’t see umpires admit they were wrong very often. It is even rarer when they admit it publicly.

Now look at the general attitude of the public and the pitcher after the apology. Prior people were up in arms and wanted Joyce’s head on a stake. Galarraga was upset and talking about it after the game. But once Joyce apologized the furor died down and in the eyes of some Joyce is seen as a bigger man for admitting his mistake.

Contrast this behavior to that of BP when the spill in the gulf originally occurred and how they downplayed the seriousness of it and minimized the potential effect. It will take BP a long, long time to regain their brand capital after his in large part because they were not honest. People will forgive all sorts of wrongs and mistakes when we own up to them. In fact, sometimes mistakes if handled well build a stronger relationship. (The buyer now knows how you will respond when the chips are down).

–   When you make a mistake, are you quick to admit it?
–   What happened last time you tried to shirk the responsibility for a mistake?

There is big value in being sincere and admitting when you have made a mistake. Jim Joyce for one understands that.

Take Good Care

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