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What to Do When You Make a Mistake Like Steve Harvey

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If you haven’t heard about the major mistake that took place in Sunday night’s Miss Universe pageant, click on this link (Steve Harvey Miss Universe”), select a video on YouTube and then come back. (No really, come back!)

Steve Harvey, the Family Feud host extraordinaire and long-time comedian, made a major mistake by announcing Miss Colombia as the winner of the Miss Universe pageant when he should have announced Miss Philippines as the winner.

Oh boy.

Now, Steve Harvey did a commendable job of owning up on stage to the mistake, which is one of the most important things to do in a crisis situation. He tried to show the card with the names of the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up to the FOX cameras and make a connection with the worldwide audience to show that he made an honest mistake.

Again, accountability can’t be understated in a crisis situation. Also, people will sympathize with a true apology because we are all humans and almost always give someone a second chance.

Then, Steve Harvey went to twitter and tried to further atone for his mistake. In theory, this idea was a great thought. Social media provides an outlet to reach millions of people in a short amount of time. His incorrect announcement was spreading virally on social media in the minutes after it transpired. (Trust me, I was watching live and then continually refreshing twitter.)

His tweet didn’t go as well as planned.

Steve Harvey Tweet

Now, there’s something to be said for the human element on social media. We connect better with people, companies and brands when they open up to the human side. However, the mis-spelling of Colombia and Phillippines couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Was it another honest mistake? It sure seems like it. Steve Harvey was probably shaken by his on-stage mistake and wanted to get a statement out publically as soon as he could. But his tweet was getting mocked so much that he had to delete it and then post a couple of follow-up tweets with the correct spellings and another apology for announcing the incorrect name.

What can we learn? Whether it’s a mistake in the normal day-to-day operations of your staffing firm or reading the wrong name in front of millions of people watching worldwide, remember to be accountable and try to minimize the damage as much as possible.

Yes, we all make mistakes, but it’s how we respond to them that will also get noticed.

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