What can you learn from Pete Carroll blowing the Super Bowl?

Seattle fans thought their team was about to win Super Bowl XLIX. They had the ball on New England’s 1-yard line. There were 26 seconds to play. They had one timeout. And they had Marshawn Lynch, a running back so powerful that his nickname is “Beast Mode.”

Then the Seahawks did something no one expected – they passed the football.

For those who didn’t see it, New England defensive back, Malcolm Butler intercepted the pass and the game was essentially over. Seattle lost – just moments after victory appeared certain.

Social media and talk radio blew up in reaction. Seattle coach, Pete Carroll, was widely condemned for having made one of the stupidest calls in the history of sports.

A couple of days later, he was interviewed by NBC’s Matt Lauer before millions of people. And how did he react?

All of us in business should pay close attention to what Carroll did because we can learn from it.

What should you do when you make a mistake?

Follow the LOOK approach.

Look them in the eye. Good eye contact enhances your credibility. Check out Carroll’s interview. His eye contact remained strong. No matter how uncomfortable the questions got, he continued to bring his eyes back to Lauer.

Own your mistakes. Avoid blaming others, even if they played a part in the mistake. If you blame, you look petty and small. While Carroll certainly said that others were part of the discussion, he stated flatly that the call was his. He didn’t shift the focus to his coaching staff or players.

Offer a Solution. It’s not enough to admit your mistake and take accountability. You can say the right things, but you should also do the right thing. So try to make amends. Carroll focused his words on the impact the call had on players and fans. He shared that his job going forward is to maintain a positive approach for the organization.

Keep the lines of communication open. You can do all of these things and the other person still might not be in a forgiving mood. That’s OK. Rather than going silent and hiding, maintain communication. Pete Carroll faced his detractors publicly and didn’t blame them for their criticism.

We all make mistakes. It’s how we deal with them that determines how others react to us. If you follow the LOOK approach, you’ll do a much better job of overcoming your mistakes.

How have you dealt with mistakes in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.

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