Skillsoft Blog

Oops—Another Mistake? Your Reaction Means More Than you Think.

By Candy Osborne, Senior Marketing Manager,
Skillsoft

In this
fast-paced world we live in, what are the chances that you’re making less
mistakes than ever? Probably not very good. In fact, chances are high that
you’re making more mistakes than ever given tighter deadlines, shrinking
budgets and re-aligned organizations. Think about it, how many mistakes have
you made so far today? Since this time last week? By “mistake,” I mean anything
and everything at home and on the job from forgetting to put on deodorant to
missing an important deadline.

While mistakes are part of being human, how you react when you make a mistake is
above and beyond the mistake itself because you have the power to choose to learn from your mistake. But
first, you must own up to making a mistake in the first place.

In Lolly
Daskal’s blog post Leadership: Turn Mistakes into
Lessons
, Lolly suggests
five actions you can take when confronted with a mistake:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Accept
  3. Apologize
  4. Adjust
  5. Apply

I’m not sure
about you, but I instantly have more respect for another person when he/she
admits a mistake. Of course you don’t want to continue making the same mistakes
but if you can learn and truly move on, one could argue that the mistake itself
was a critical component to expediting learning in that area.

“Don’t confuse
poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make
them. Learn from them so they can empower you!”

― Steve
Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Consider how you
react to your own mistakes and then to those of your team members and
colleagues. Are you creating an environment that is fearful and dismissive of
mistakes? Or are you contributing to an environment that is open and ready to
help people problem-solve mistakes, and learn from them moving forward—and
experience future gains because of it.

Thankfully for
my colleagues I haven’t made the deodorant mistake in years but other mistakes
have certainly replaced that one. And more mistakes will continue because I’m
human. You’re human. We make mistakes. But, instead of belaboring your next
mistake, what about thinking of it as a way to keep yourself honest, humble and
when done smartly, make you stronger.

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