A manager and employee, bright rainbow colors

Are your employees afraid of being wrong? 🙅‍♀️

One of my earliest supervisors berated us when things went wrong. I found myself constantly watching my back, afraid to make a mistake and get yelled at.

Sure, there were benefits. I still think of her when I diligently follow up on my tasks.

But she also taught me that trying unfamiliar things carried the risk of humiliation. 😬 So I didn’t go out of my way to try unfamiliar things!

Psychological safety is a critical element of organizational success.

Employees who operate without fear of punishment are more likely to take risks and innovate. And that’s good for the bottom line.

Some managers see this as coddling. Why be “nicey-nice” to someone who makes a mistake? Shouldn’t they learn to do things right?

They’re wrong. These managers need to take a lesson from teachers!

Great teachers see mistakes as learning opportunities. Their goal is to help their students improve.

Great managers view their teams as learning environments too. Most mistakes aren’t critical to business operations. That means most mistakes are learning opportunities and should be treated accordingly.

Put another way: correcting a mistake is important. Rubbing someone’s nose in it is not!

When leaders embrace the learning potential of mistakes, everybody wins.





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