The Importance of Mistakes and Letting Your Team Make Them

the-importance-of-mistakes

The role of leadership throws up many challenges, and one of the biggest is managing, developing, and encouraging your staff to fulfill their potential. Many leaders fall into the trap of micromanaging their staff, which can have a very negative effect on productivity and morale.

On the other side of the argument, we want to encourage and inspire our staff to grow and learn. After all, some of the best lessons in life are learned from making mistakes. Normally in life we learn much more when problems arise and are solved, rather than when everything goes perfectly according to plan. On a very basic level, an example of this is how we all learned to walk. Our parents had to let us fall over and risk being hurt for us to learn from our mistakes. The end result justified the means.

The challenge as a manager is being prepared to give your staff the authority and confidence to make decisions and take risks, which have the potential to go wrong. Clearly, for the safety of the business, there needs to be an element of safeguarding in place; you don’t want a Barings Bank style disaster. By setting up a structure and inspiring your staff to take calculated risks, the benefits to that individual and your company as a whole can be huge.

 

Three Benefits Of Taking Risks and Encouraging Mistakes

 

1. Risk Prevents Staff From Indecision and Encourages Progress

One of the biggest problems with staff who don’t feel empowered to take risk is that they simply stagnate, or always take the ultra safe option. This is the equivalent of a baby holding onto the sofa when learning to walk. There is progress being made, but it will never be life-changing and could potentially impede the growth of your company. By empowering your staff to take considered risks, and not criticizing them when they make the inevitable mistakes, you will encourage both their development and your profit margins.

 

2. Mistakes Can Be Analyzed and Acted Upon

Mistakes are often seen as a negative within the business world, but they can just as easily be viewed in a positive light. Whenever a mistake is made, rather than criticizing and undermining confidence, take this opportunity to learn from the error and improve procedures going forward. As Einstein said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

 

3. Others Can Learn From Your Mistakes

When anyone makes a mistake and then publicly owns up to it, everyone else in the company can benefit. If we take this example outside of the business sector: a convicted criminal is in a much better position to try and convert a young person from a life of crime, rather than someone who has never been in trouble, because they can better explain their mistakes and the subsequent consequences. Because they have been to prison and are admitting their mistakes, their words and opinions hold much more weight. When other members of the staff see that mistakes are not punished, it will inspire them and encourage closer teamwork.

 

For those managers reading this article who struggle to let go, the advice above is not to abandon major aspects of management, but rather to put in place certain safeguards. For instance, it is perfectly acceptable to make a mistake for the first time, but repeating that mistake a second or third time is not acceptable.

A great leader allows their staff to make mistakes, but equally a great employee will learn from their mistakes, admit them, repair the damage caused, and then ensure that the same mistakes do not happen again.

Everyone makes mistakes; it is a part of life. The issue is not the mistake, but rather how you deal with it, either as a leader or an employee.

 

X

Book a Tour

(Rotate on Mobile)

Click to Select a Location Before Clicking a Date
Alexandria(Washington)
Charlotte(4th St)
Chicago(Adams)
Chicago(Monroe)
Chicago(Wacker)
Dallas(Commerce)
Houston(Main)
Houston(Rusk)
Jacksonville(Market)
Seattle(Pioneer)
All
America/Chicago
Africa/Abidjan
Africa/Accra
Africa/Addis_Ababa
Africa/Algiers
Africa/Asmara
Africa/Bamako
Africa/Bangui
Africa/Banjul
Africa/Bissau
Africa/Blantyre
Africa/Brazzaville
Africa/Bujumbura
Africa/Cairo
Africa/Casablanca
Africa/Ceuta
Africa/Conakry
Africa/Dakar
Africa/Dar_es_Salaam
Africa/Djibouti
Africa/Douala
Africa/El_Aaiun
Africa/Freetown
Africa/Gaborone
Africa/Harare
Africa/Johannesburg
Africa/Juba
Africa/Kampala
Africa/Khartoum
Africa/Kigali
Africa/Kinshasa
Africa/Lagos
Africa/Libreville
Africa/Lome
Africa/Luanda
Africa/Lubumbashi
Africa/Lusaka
Africa/Malabo
Africa/Maputo
Africa/Maseru
Africa/Mbabane
Africa/Mogadishu
Africa/Monrovia
Africa/Nairobi
Africa/Ndjamena
Africa/Niamey
Africa/Nouakchott
Africa/Ouagadougou
Africa/Porto-Novo
Africa/Sao_Tome
Africa/Tripoli
Africa/Tunis
Africa/Windhoek
America/Adak
America/Anchorage
America/Anguilla
America/Antigua
America/Araguaina
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
America/Argentina/Catamarca
America/Argentina/Cordoba
America/Argentina/Jujuy
America/Argentina/La_Rioja
America/Argentina/Mendoza
America/Argentina/Rio_Gallegos
America/Argentina/Salta
America/Argentina/San_Juan
America/Argentina/San_Luis
America/Argentina/Tucuman
America/Argentina/Ushuaia
America/Aruba
America/Asuncion
America/Atikokan
America/Bahia
America/Bahia_Banderas
America/Barbados
America/Belem
America/Belize
America/Blanc-Sablon
America/Boa_Vista
America/Bogota
America/Boise
America/Cambridge_Bay
America/Campo_Grande
America/Cancun
America/Caracas
America/Cayenne
America/Cayman
America/Chicago
America/Chihuahua
America/Costa_Rica
America/Creston
America/Cuiaba
America/Curacao
America/Danmarkshavn
America/Dawson
America/Dawson_Creek
America/Denver
America/Detroit
America/Dominica
America/Edmonton
America/Eirunepe
America/El_Salvador
America/Fort_Nelson
America/Fortaleza
America/Glace_Bay
America/Godthab
America/Goose_Bay
America/Grand_Turk
America/Grenada
America/Guadeloupe
America/Guatemala
America/Guayaquil
America/Guyana
America/Halifax
America/Havana
America/Hermosillo
America/Indiana/Indianapolis
America/Indiana/Knox
America/Indiana/Marengo
America/Indiana/Petersburg
America/Indiana/Tell_City
America/Indiana/Vevay
America/Indiana/Vincennes
America/Indiana/Winamac
America/Inuvik
America/Iqaluit
America/Jamaica
America/Juneau
America/Kentucky/Louisville
America/Kentucky/Monticello
America/Kralendijk
America/La_Paz
America/Lima
America/Los_Angeles
America/Lower_Princes
America/Maceio
America/Managua
America/Manaus
America/Marigot
America/Martinique
America/Matamoros
America/Mazatlan
America/Menominee
America/Merida
America/Metlakatla
America/Mexico_City
America/Miquelon
America/Moncton
America/Monterrey
America/Montevideo
America/Montserrat
America/Nassau
America/New_York
America/Nipigon
America/Nome
America/Noronha
America/North_Dakota/Beulah
America/North_Dakota/Center
America/North_Dakota/New_Salem
America/Ojinaga
America/Panama
America/Pangnirtung
America/Paramaribo
America/Phoenix
America/Port-au-Prince
America/Port_of_Spain
America/Porto_Velho
America/Puerto_Rico
America/Rainy_River
America/Rankin_Inlet
America/Recife
America/Regina
America/Resolute
America/Rio_Branco
America/Santarem
America/Santiago
America/Santo_Domingo
America/Sao_Paulo
America/Scoresbysund
America/Sitka
America/St_Barthelemy
America/St_Johns
America/St_Kitts
America/St_Lucia
America/St_Thomas
America/St_Vincent
America/Swift_Current
America/Tegucigalpa
America/Thule
America/Thunder_Bay
America/Tijuana
America/Toronto
America/Tortola
America/Vancouver
America/Whitehorse
America/Winnipeg
America/Yakutat
America/Yellowknife
Antarctica/Casey
Antarctica/Davis
Antarctica/DumontDUrville
Antarctica/Macquarie
Antarctica/Mawson
Antarctica/McMurdo
Antarctica/Palmer
Antarctica/Rothera
Antarctica/Syowa
Antarctica/Troll
Antarctica/Vostok
Arctic/Longyearbyen
Asia/Aden
Asia/Almaty
Asia/Amman
Asia/Anadyr
Asia/Aqtau
Asia/Aqtobe
Asia/Ashgabat
Asia/Atyrau
Asia/Baghdad
Asia/Bahrain
Asia/Baku
Asia/Bangkok
Asia/Barnaul
Asia/Beirut
Asia/Bishkek
Asia/Brunei
Asia/Chita
Asia/Choibalsan
Asia/Colombo
Asia/Damascus
Asia/Dhaka
Asia/Dili
Asia/Dubai
Asia/Dushanbe
Asia/Famagusta
Asia/Gaza
Asia/Hebron
Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh
Asia/Hong_Kong
Asia/Hovd
Asia/Irkutsk
Asia/Jakarta
Asia/Jayapura
Asia/Jerusalem
Asia/Kabul
Asia/Kamchatka
Asia/Karachi
Asia/Kathmandu
Asia/Khandyga
Asia/Kolkata
Asia/Krasnoyarsk
Asia/Kuala_Lumpur
Asia/Kuching
Asia/Kuwait
Asia/Macau
Asia/Magadan
Asia/Makassar
Asia/Manila
Asia/Muscat
Asia/Nicosia
Asia/Novokuznetsk
Asia/Novosibirsk
Asia/Omsk
Asia/Oral
Asia/Phnom_Penh
Asia/Pontianak
Asia/Pyongyang
Asia/Qatar
Asia/Qyzylorda
Asia/Riyadh
Asia/Sakhalin
Asia/Samarkand
Asia/Seoul
Asia/Shanghai
Asia/Singapore
Asia/Srednekolymsk
Asia/Taipei
Asia/Tashkent
Asia/Tbilisi
Asia/Tehran
Asia/Thimphu
Asia/Tokyo
Asia/Tomsk
Asia/Ulaanbaatar
Asia/Urumqi
Asia/Ust-Nera
Asia/Vientiane
Asia/Vladivostok
Asia/Yakutsk
Asia/Yangon
Asia/Yekaterinburg
Asia/Yerevan
Atlantic/Azores
Atlantic/Bermuda
Atlantic/Canary
Atlantic/Cape_Verde
Atlantic/Faroe
Atlantic/Madeira
Atlantic/Reykjavik
Atlantic/South_Georgia
Atlantic/St_Helena
Atlantic/Stanley
Australia/Adelaide
Australia/Brisbane
Australia/Broken_Hill
Australia/Currie
Australia/Darwin
Australia/Eucla
Australia/Hobart
Australia/Lindeman
Australia/Lord_Howe
Australia/Melbourne
Australia/Perth
Australia/Sydney
Europe/Amsterdam
Europe/Andorra
Europe/Astrakhan
Europe/Athens
Europe/Belgrade
Europe/Berlin
Europe/Bratislava
Europe/Brussels
Europe/Bucharest
Europe/Budapest
Europe/Busingen
Europe/Chisinau
Europe/Copenhagen
Europe/Dublin
Europe/Gibraltar
Europe/Guernsey
Europe/Helsinki
Europe/Isle_of_Man
Europe/Istanbul
Europe/Jersey
Europe/Kaliningrad
Europe/Kiev
Europe/Kirov
Europe/Lisbon
Europe/Ljubljana
Europe/London
Europe/Luxembourg
Europe/Madrid
Europe/Malta
Europe/Mariehamn
Europe/Minsk
Europe/Monaco
Europe/Moscow
Europe/Oslo
Europe/Paris
Europe/Podgorica
Europe/Prague
Europe/Riga
Europe/Rome
Europe/Samara
Europe/San_Marino
Europe/Sarajevo
Europe/Saratov
Europe/Simferopol
Europe/Skopje
Europe/Sofia
Europe/Stockholm
Europe/Tallinn
Europe/Tirane
Europe/Ulyanovsk
Europe/Uzhgorod
Europe/Vaduz
Europe/Vatican
Europe/Vienna
Europe/Vilnius
Europe/Volgograd
Europe/Warsaw
Europe/Zagreb
Europe/Zaporozhye
Europe/Zurich
Indian/Antananarivo
Indian/Chagos
Indian/Christmas
Indian/Cocos
Indian/Comoro
Indian/Kerguelen
Indian/Mahe
Indian/Maldives
Indian/Mauritius
Indian/Mayotte
Indian/Reunion
Pacific/Apia
Pacific/Auckland
Pacific/Bougainville
Pacific/Chatham
Pacific/Chuuk
Pacific/Easter
Pacific/Efate
Pacific/Enderbury
Pacific/Fakaofo
Pacific/Fiji
Pacific/Funafuti
Pacific/Galapagos
Pacific/Gambier
Pacific/Guadalcanal
Pacific/Guam
Pacific/Honolulu
Pacific/Johnston
Pacific/Kiritimati
Pacific/Kosrae
Pacific/Kwajalein
Pacific/Majuro
Pacific/Marquesas
Pacific/Midway
Pacific/Nauru
Pacific/Niue
Pacific/Norfolk
Pacific/Noumea
Pacific/Pago_Pago
Pacific/Palau
Pacific/Pitcairn
Pacific/Pohnpei
Pacific/Port_Moresby
Pacific/Rarotonga
Pacific/Saipan
Pacific/Tahiti
Pacific/Tarawa
Pacific/Tongatapu
Pacific/Wake
Pacific/Wallis
UTC
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2017
2018
2019
2020
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Book a Tour