How to Shake Off the Mistakes
Tip 1: Own It
Nothing shows that you’re ready to learn like taking ownership of what went wrong. To the contrary, nothing reflects more negatively than an endless string of reasons why it wasn’t your fault.
Someone should have told you, this wasn’t supposed to be your job anyway, blah blah blah. All that shows is that you’re good at passing the blame. If it was a minor mistake (like me with the extrication tool), laugh it off, play along with the guys who are kidding you, and learn from it.
Keep your sense of humor on these little ones, if you can’t laugh at yourself you’re doomed to stress out over everything that ever goes wrong and it’ll cripple your ability to learn and try.
On the other hand, if it was something more major that could have or did hurt someone, take it very seriously.
Apologize appropriately to anyone affected, and to anyone you talk about the incident with give them the truth: yes, it was my fault, here is exactly what I’m doing differently to make sure it never happens again.
It hurts a little to take the credit, especially on a bigger blunder, but ultimately you’ll be more respected and trusted for it.
Tip 2: Check Your Pride at the Door
This job isn’t about making your ego bigger. If you can’t take correction, then we can’t be trusting you with peoples lives. It’s that simple.
I’ve trained with guys who are so convinced that they already know everything that you can’t get through to them. Then when they go and make a mistake, they’re too concerned about their image to learn from it.
You need to bring a lot of your character aspects with you on the job.
Your stamina, focus, cool-headedness, compassion; these are all things that you want to carry. Pride is one you can leave out, it can only hurt.
A wise firefighter once said: “Take pride in doing a job that helps people, but leave it at home while you’re doing it”.