Leaders: Letting Your Employees Make Mistakes (Part I)

miles davis mistakes

Last week, we talked a little bit about why leaders shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. As we mentioned, mistakes are often misperceived as being associated only with failure.

But the truth is, you can actually do a lot of growth with a mistake, which is why today, we are going to talk about why you should be okay with letting your employees make mistakes, and how you can make the most of out them.

For today, we are going to give you three reasons why you should be okay with your employees making mistakes:

  • Everyone makes mistakes. First things first, remember: everyone makes mistakes. Unless you are superhuman, you are bound to run into a few mistakes every once in a while. The question is all about how you handle the situation.

    We are not saying you should go ahead and give your employees the okay to do whatever they please, but as a leader, you need to take these mistakes in stride. That begins by understanding that everyone (including yourself) will mess up every now and then.

  • Mistakes can equal progress. Believe it or not, mistakes can actually be a stepping-stone for success. As we mentioned in our post last week, you can never really know what it means to do something the right and best way until you know what it means to do it the worst way.

    Letting your employees make those kinds of mistakes can actually help them since it gives them first-hand experience at failure. In turn, they will know exactly what they shouldn’t be doing, which may actually help push them in the right direction and make them succeed.

  • Allowing risk can help spur creativity. Another thing to consider is the potential that comes with being open to your employees making mistakes. When you let them know it is okay to make mistakes every once in a while, the chance that they will take risks for the sake of creativity is greater. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you always scold them over the chance that they might fail due to creative spark, you end up pushing them to play by the rules, and that may do some damage to your creativity.

    In the long run, we suggest that you always take a look at how your employees’ risk taking will pan out in the larger scheme of things. If the risk is low and you see a substantial amount of benefit from it, then why not let them take the risk? All in all, we suggest that you keep things in balance and make sure to have open communication in order to prevent any serious damage.

Check back on Thursday when we give you a few tips on how to make the most out of your employees making mistakes. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: plindberg via photopin cc

Leaders: 3 Reasons Why You Should Accept and Admit to Making Mistakes

3 Reasons Why You Should Accept and Admit to Making Mistakes

As a leader, whether of team, department or company, all eyes are on you. As such, it can be hard, if not embarrassing, to let on that you are a less than perfect person.

Making mistakes can happen to anyone—it just happens to seem like a bigger deal when a leader makes one. But quite the opposite of what many leaders think, you shouldn’t try to cover it up. Sure, employees likes to feel like they’re able to count on their leaders to get things done, but they also want to feel like they can trust their leaders, too—and that has a lot to do with how you handle making mistakes.

Today, we’re going to give three reasons why you should accept and admit to making mistakes in the public eye. Take a look below:

  • It shows that you’re human, not a robot. First things first, you’re human, so you’re bound to make a few mistakes every once in a while. Accepting that you make mistakes will make you seem more relatable to your employees because they can see that you are just like them. In turn, they will feel more comfortable to turn to you when they make mistakes themselves, giving you a chance to properly deal with them and prevent anything disastrous from happening. 
  • It’s a humbling gesture towards your employees. That brings us to our next point: if you happen to be in a situation where an employee is right and you are wrong, tell them they are right. Nothing is worse than throwing an employee under the bus in order to hide the fact that you messed up. Accepting that you’ve messed up and letting them know they were right is an extremely humbling gesture towards your employees and shows that you are responsible for your actions, which in turn strengthens their trust and confidence in you. 
  • It gives you a chance to actually fix your problems. Most importantly, accepting your mistakes gives you a chance to actually fix them, in turn preventing you from making the mistake again or from letting it blow up into a bigger mistake.

Accepting your mistakes can be hard, but as a leader, you are the one setting the example for the rest of your team. Make sure you do the right thing because in the end, it will affect how you employees see you as well as how you function as a leader.

photo credit: mugley via photopin cc