Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up On the Job!

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It happens often: you’re in a meeting and someone’s proposing a plan for a new project you’re working on. You know you have a better alternative, but you’re afraid of speaking up because the person proposing the plan has more experience than you.

Rather than present your opinion, you sit back and let the plan unfold as proposed.

Most of us can recall at least one time in the workplace we’ve been afraid to speak up and offer our opinion. That’s okay—but often, speaking up is a much better option, even if it seems more difficult at the time.

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Leaders: Letting Your Employees Make Mistakes (Part I)

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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!

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Leaders: Don’t be Afraid of Making a Few Mistakes

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Don’t be afraid of making mistakes but do understand and learn from them. Mistakes are truly necessary for growth.

That’s the advice given by Kiran K. Gill, President and CEO of PARS Environmental, Inc. when she was interviewed by Entrepreneur on the art of managing people right.

And we couldn’t agree more. Sure, making mistakes may sound counter-intuitive to a leadership position. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why:

  • Mistakes push boundaries. People who aren’t afraid of making mistakes are the ones who are usually pushing the boundaries. Whether that means creatively or otherwise, having the guts to take risks can actually lead to improvements in your field. And sure, things may not always work out for the best, but when they do, it can be huge. Just make sure you know when you are doing something daring enough to ruin your company; the key to taking risks is understanding the consequences that come with them.
  • Mistakes help you compare the best to the worst. You’ll never know what’s best until you know what’s the worst. Having an idea of what not to do usually comes from doing it in the first place. Making mistakes can actually be a good thing as long as you take the initiative to fix them in the long run.

How to make the most out of your mistakes:

  • Admit to your mistakes. First things first, when you make mistakes you need to admit to them. Mistakes rarely fix themselves, and the first step to fixing them is admitting to them. Do that and you will be well on your way towards improving your outcomes.
  • Try, try, try again. “If at first you don’t succeed…” No one says you have to get things right the first time. Take the mistakes you make as learning opportunities and use the experience to your advantage the next time around. Understanding that you can always learn and improve from your mistakes is one of the best ways to get over your problems in the future.

Don’t take your mistakes for granted. There are plenty of leaders who have made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and are now doing better because of them. Remember that the next time you make a mistake and you’ll be well on your way to success.

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Leaders: 4 Reasons Why You Should Take the Blame for Your Team’s Mistakes

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Although it is something we hate to admit, our teams aren’t as perfect as we would like to believe. Every once in a while, our teams will run into a mistake or two.

For the most part, these mistakes are easy to manage and take care of, but when it comes to stating who is to blame, it’s easy to get into trouble.

As a leader, it is essential that you understand the impact of blame, which is why today, we are going to go over four reasons why you should take the blame for your team’s mistakes. Take a look below:

  • It creates trust. First and foremost, taking the blame for your team’s mistakes is essential to creating trust between you and them. Never take to yelling at them for what they’ve done, especially in front of others.

    Scolding your team is a poor way of dealing with the problem and does nothing to actually remedy the situation. And, as a result, it can end up making your team feel like they can’t go to you when a problem arises, potentially leading to bigger problems.

  • Your team is your responsibility. You were promoted into the leadership position because those above you saw that you possessed the skills to manage others. As such, whatever your team does should ultimately fall on you. You advise your team on most of the decisions they make, so it should probably go without saying that when they make a mistake, you may be just as guilty as they are.
  • You are the middle man. Because of your position, you also act as the connection between your team and the higher-ups. Since you most likely have a better standing with those above you, it only makes sense that you handle whatever mistakes your team makes.
  • It shows great leadership. Above all, shouldering the blame of your team is a sign of a great leader. As Forbes contributor Ekaterina Walter points out, “If there is a blame to be had, great leaders take it on. If there is a credit to be given, they give it away to others.”

Leadership is about leading people towards success, not about throwing them under the bus, so make it a habit “to take one for the team.” Doing so can make a world of difference in how they, and others, will perceive you as a leader.

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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.

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