Every once and a while I get reminded how honesty really is the best tactic, with regards to both our personal and business lives.
For example, I recently had someone email me saying that something was wrong with their website. I went and took a look, didn’t see a problem, and so asked them to clear their cache and have another look because there definitely wasn’t anything wrong.
Well, they wrote back insisting that this issue was indeed happening, so I reluctantly went a took another look. Oops! Turns out it was what they said, and if I took a really good look I could see it plainly. So, I’m feeling like a geek for not paying better attention in the first place, and I catch myself thinking of ways that I could secretly fix the issue and then write them back saying something along the lines of “you’re crazy, go take a look, it really isn’t an issue”. Can you believe it!? My initial reaction was to try to make it seem that I wasn’t wrong, when obviously I was.
Luckily I entertained those silly thoughts for only about 5 seconds. After that I had a good laugh at myself, fixed the issue, and wrote an email apologizing for missing the issue in the first place and that it was now fixed. And, I think the most important part was to acknowledge my mistake, not just tell them that it was now fixed. By doing that, all of the “Oh no, I’m wrong! How embarassing!” feelings that I was having were immediately diffused, the client probably feels better knowing that they’re not imagining things and not being ignored, the issue is fixed, and everyone is feeling good all around.
So, it’s a simple example, but a good one nonetheless – honesty is always the best way. It may seem tough to do at first, but it makes everything easier in the long run.