Take responsibility: Don’t try to weasel out of it, and don’t look around wildly for someone else to blame. Even if your failure came about because someone let you down, you’re ultimately responsible for the projects under your authority.

Apologize: No, really! A lot of people go to great lengths to make up for their mistakes — or to hide them — when a simple “I’m sorry” would do the job, and cause a lot fewer hard feelings.

Accept the consequences: It’s hard, I know, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take your lumps. Few actions come without any consequences at all; be prepared to embrace whatever befalls you as a result of the mistakes you’ve made.

Be sincere: Don’t falsely pretend to feel sympathy or act phony. Make sure you are able to convey to the person(s) affected by your blunder, how deeply you regret your bonehead mistake. Don’t play the martyr. Show honest emotion — the first step to rebuilding the trust lost.

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