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How to avoid being a weiner at work

I love the way everyone is jumping on this Weinergate scandal -- creating their own Weiner jokes and Weinder deals. If there's anything to learn from Representative Anthony Weiner’s actions ( he was caught sexting and then denied it), it's that poor judgment is rampant.

As a reporter, I can tell you that coming clean is usually the better path. Hide the truth and a good reporter will dig and dig and the outcome won't be pretty.

These tips just landed in my Inbox about how to fess up to mistakes at work and I wanted to share them with you. At issue – how should employees apologize for mistakes in a way that will restore their reputation and allow them to keep their job?

Joseph Grenny, BusinessWeek leadership columnist and co-author of the New York Times best-seller Crucial Conversations, gives this advice on how to recover from mistakes at work:

  • Admit to the mistake quickly. If your boss hears it from you rather than others, s/he will trust you more.
  • Go overboard in compensating for damage. If a customer was hurt, for example, surprise and delight them in how you respond to their concerns. And let your boss know as soon as possible what you’re doing to fix the problem so s/he recognizes you’re owning the problem you created.
  • Share what you learned. Tell the boss what you’ve learned and how things will be different in the future.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask the boss what other lessons you should draw from this experience.

Readers, have you ever had to come clean to the boss about a mistake? If so, did you get fired anyway?