In today’s highly interconnected organizations, a colleague’s mistakes can have a real effect on your ability to get work done. Address mistakes by approaching your co-worker, but do so cautiously and follow these rules of thumb:
Don’t assume. You may think you know why your colleague is making mistakes, but don’t jump to conclusions. Ask him open-ended questions to try to understand what is going on.
Offer help. Your colleague may be struggling with a short-term issue that is causing the mistakes. Offer help and support while he deals with the situation. This kind of support is often paid back at a later time.
Focus on the relationship. Good working relationships are essential to success in any organization. Be direct and honest about how the mistakes are affecting you, but do what you can to preserve the relationship.
Adapted from “When a Colleague’s Mistakes Affect You” by Amy Gallo.