You’ve Made Another Mistake!

You’ve Made Another Mistake!

When it comes to mistakes our words are often different from our actions. We recognise the value of learning from mistakes but do we walk the talk?

We often hide, excuse or laugh off our own mistakes but are fairly intolerant of other people’s, especially if they work for us.

Mistakes are good for us. It’s one way in which we learn and it shows we’re trying new things. (I’m talking here of original mistakes rather than repeated mistakes.)

Last week a client was discussing to what degree his team was engaged in developing the business and we arrived at the subject of mistakes. He committed to trying something new in the next few team meetings. You might want to try it too.

By way of introduction he would briefly explain why making mistakes can be a good thing.

Starting with him, everyone would share one mistake they’d made recently in the following way:

  1. What was the mistake?
  2. What did I learn?
  3. What will I do next time?

Two key rules:

  1. The individual is not to explain or excuse or rationalise the mistake – just to say what it was.
  2. There is to be no feedback or comment from anyone after each person shares – just move on to the next person. And no comment at the end of the process – just move onto the next agenda item. I suspect this will be hard but learning to withhold judgment, good or bad, will be key to creating an atmosphere of acceptance and trust.

The aim is to repeat the above process for at least the next 6 weeks and see what happens.

We’re viewing this initial process as a pump primer. Once making original mistakes becomes part of the culture it may be that the team feel confident to talk openly about mistakes with each other.

If you too want to engender a greater degree of team engagement and a culture where people feel encouraged and confident to try new things then give it a go. Let us know how you get on. And please share any initiatives that have worked for you.

If you feel frustrated that your team could be contributing more, I’d be happy to meet with you. Facilitating a pump priming session with you and your team might be a good next-step. It’s what I’m good at and it’s what I love doing.

I also love running our ‘Develop Your Business’ Planning Workshops – even if I don’t love persuading people to come along! Perhaps if I were better at the persuading bit I’d love it more! But everyone who invests the time in coming along really benefits. The next on is on Friday 8th September at Altrincham Town Hall. Register directly through Eventbrite or simple drop me a line now.


Mark Dyble

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