Q. I'm a salesman at a small company and none of us are dumb enough to do what Cong. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) or Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich did--but sometimes we do something stupid and our customers complain. Usually we lie, making lame excuses or ignoring the complaints. That doesn't help my commissions. I know we can do better, but what?
Ans. Your solutions are NOT solutions. Truth always wins, and there are ways to tell it that are most effective. Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations, adds these suggestions: Admit your mistake immediately. Go overboard in compensating for damage, and, if it gets to you as a staff member first, let your boss know as soon as possible what you're doing to fix the problem so she/he recognizes you're owning the problem you created. He may even reward you for your innovation.