In the ideal world, whenever we make a mistake, we just calmly inform all the people involved that there’s been an error, we explain that it wasn’t intentional, say we’re sorry for any trouble it might have caused, list all we learned from it and just… well… move on, never to make the same mistake again. We are proud of the lesson learned and do not dwell on the matter longer than necessary.
Sounds far-fetched, unrealistic and straightforward utopian? Of course it does!
This scenario is as far from the average business reality as Google search algorithm from a library microfiche. There is, however, an immense transformative potential in looking at the way mistakes and errors are managed in our lives and in our organizations, because the way we feel about our own fallibility is one of the best indicators of true leadership (or lack thereof).
Why is the way we handle our own mistakes so important in assessing our own leadership skills? This article and the video interview it contains are aimed at mapping the answer to that question.
MPEC Partners: The Learning Culture Recipe
MPEC is built on Coaching and Agile principles and it claims to have a particularly enthusiastic approach to errors. We sat down with the two Partners & MPEC Founders: Ed Tyrrell and Suzanne Pilch to listen to their views on this aspect of leadership and to understand what – in their opinion – is the list of ingredients to generate a truly open and safe learning environment for ourselves and for others.
1. Do you think the way we handle our mistakes is a good indicator of our leadership skills?
2. What does a person who is confident and calm do when they make a mistake?
3. Why can’t everyone react to their mistakes the same way?
4. What’s needed for people in an organisation to learn from their mistakes without hiding them?
5. What is the recipe you guys used to ensure MPEC has a true learning culture?
Coaching Our Inner Critic To Accept Our Own Mistakes
If what Suzanne said about fear of disappointing those who matter to us stroke a chord with you, here is a short list of affirmations you can read every time you feel too scared to own a mistake you made.
If working on leadership skills is a personal or professional goal of yours, do get in touch with us! We love meeting professionals who wish to explore these topics and we are always delighted to create tailor-made courses and workshops built for the specific needs of our clients.
6 Tenets Self Acceptance And Forgiveness
- I am safe – nobody judges me as harsh as my inner critic does and I choose not to punish myself for my error.
- I forgive myself for my mistake, and I allow myself to learn from it instead.
- I let go of my anger, shame, embarrassment, and guilt.
- I allow myself to start over and not judge myself for getting off track.
- I am a good person, making a mistake can never change that.
- Today, I am choosing not to worry about the past and instead work towards improving my future.