Correcting Your Mistakes in the Funeral Industry

How to avoid common mistakes with your funeral home as a funeral director.

We all make mistakes in our personal lives, love lives, and at work. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done something, every once in a while, I’ll slip up without even realizing my mistake. I’ve been planning and executing funerals for 17 years, but I still occasionally make mistakes that I regret to recognize.

To help me improve on correcting my mistakes in the funeral industry, I’ve put together a short list of goals that I’d like to share with you readers, since, perhaps, you make mistakes as well. I’m hoping by writing these down and thoroughly examining my corrective process, I can make mistakes in the future with more grace and resiliency.

Goal 1: Take better accountability

Stop reacting in a defensive way when a mistake is drawn to my attention by a client or co-worker. My immediate instinct is to bristle at the thought that I could possibly be human and do something wrong, so I try to point the finger at someone (anyone) else. Even when a mistake isn’t directly my fault, it’s important as a funeral director to take the fall for the situation and accept accountability. My defense mechanisms are a result of pride, since it’s hard to announce vulnerability and come clean about a misstep in my work—something I take so much pride in. However, it doesn’t look good when I blame others for the problem, and it definitely doesn’t solve anything.

Goal 2: Apologize more thoroughly

I have been called a “man of few words” many times before; I prefer to be concise and direct when I can. However, when making an apology for a mistake that I brought about, I want to practice apologizing more thoroughly to clients and employees alike. My brevity can give the impression that I don’t care about the situation, or that I don’t have time to explain and show remorse to whomever I have wronged. Though this is a subconscious action, I have consciously noticed its effects and want to try to sincerely improve my apologies.

Goal 3: Increase training on GPL

One of the most common mistakes I hear about (and, of course, make myself) has to do with the Funeral Rule and the General Price List. I’m afraid that the FTC regulations regarding the List have just become so second nature to me that I have made mistakes when training others about the Funeral Rule. To reduce mistakes in the future, I would like to hold a training for all my employees, old and new, to refresh everyone’s memory on the Funeral Rule and how to comply correctly. The fact that this has been overlooked or not addressed fully is a big mistake on my part, and if one of my employees makes a mistake with GPL, it’s really my fault for not training them adequately.

I hope my short list has inspired some goals of your own and helped you think of mistakes in a new light. Thanks, as always, for reading!

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