Mistakes Can Support Success

Cathy was really angry with her office manager, Sara, who had made a mistake.  Cathy vented to me how upsetting it is for her when any of her staff made a mistake.  It makes her want to fire them because she cannot afford to have people make mistakes. I offered Cathy another perspective.

Cathy decided to grow her company by 30% this year.  We have been working on her strategy to do this. We have met with her staff and created a strong vision that everyone supports.  I meet with Cathy weekly and one or more of her staff every other week to keep everyone moving forward to meet this goal. Things are changing.  There is heavy new client recruitment and at the same time nurturing and servicing existing clients.  Big steps are being made to bring everything inline to support this growth, new messaging, updating their marketing, changing their internal systems, etc.

Mistakes –  An Opportunity to Learn

Knowing that with all these moving parts and changes mistakes are inevitable. I suggested to Cathy that she recognize the mistakes as adjustments to change.  Staff making mistakes is an opportunity to look more closely at some aspect of the company, train staff to be better at their job and allow staff to expand their skills into unknown or evolving skill areas.  Consider mistakes as a way to let your company grown and improve That is not to say that it is ok for an employee  to continually make mistakes without concern or attempts to improve.  That is another situation entirely.  On the other hand employees who are not afraid to make mistakes knowing that they will learn and will receive help or training along the way is a very valuable employee.

Hiding Mistakes

I have seen employees who are afraid to make mistakes and hide the mistakes they do make both of which hurt your company.  Employees who are afraid to make mistakes will not grow in their positions and will not help you grow your business.  Employees who hide their mistakes are an even greater detriment to your company as those mistakes are usually discovered after they have had a negative impact in some fashion.

Mistakes that Support Your Success

  • Creating a culture where everyone is knows and actively supports the vision of success is the first step.  Staffs who know you vision of success are an entirely different part of your team than staff who simply has a job to do.  Encourage staff to move outside their comfort zone to learn new skills.
  • Empower your staff to take initiative in their job in ways necessary to support the vision of success.  Ask them to offer creative ways to do their job.  They know things about their job that others don’t so encourage them to offer ways their role in the company can support its success.
  • Encourage staff not to be afraid to make mistakes and ask for support or training.
  • Allow staff to work together to find solutions. Staffs that buy into the vision of success are greatly inspired by working with others in the company to solve problems and find solutions.  That means trying something new and making a mistake along the way.  It may mean making a mistake from lack of experience but they are ready to learn.
  • Create a culture of support so that staff work in communication and collaboration and not judgment and competition of each other.  Set the energy of your company so that support, encouragement and cooperation are valued.
  • Notice your reactions to staff making mistakes.  How does your staff experience your reactions?  Take the time to meditate on this as a way to clear and let go of past patterns and thoughts but more importantly imagining a new way of being in reaction to mistakes.  How do you want to be?
  • Clear your thinking.  Notice your thoughts and reactions to mistakes.  Some of this may feel automatic and beyond your control.  Become conscious and aware of those concepts and the energy that comes with them.  Decide how you want to be.
  • Finally, do you allow yourself to make mistakes, take risks and get out of your comfort zone?  Do you hide your mistakes even when they are in plain sight?  They are always in plain sight.

Take a look at where you are now and how you want things to change so that your company can grow in its vision of success.  The team you have around you is the key to your success.  Meditate on how you want to set the energy of your company for everyone involved.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay Robinson

Business Consultant

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