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Learning From Our Mistakes

Have you ever made a mistake? I know I have.

How did you feel when you discovered you had made a mistake? Were you embarrassed, or afraid that you would lose your job, or your position. Maybe you were worried that it would impact on your character and your integrity. 

As leaders, when we make a mistake, we can feel terrible. We may feel that we have let ourselves, or someone else, down. We may be uncertain of what to do next. But making a mistake is not the end of the world it is merely an undesired outcome. We can recover from our mistakes if we determine on the appropriate plan of action.  

Here’s a few ideas for recovering from mistakes. 

1. Take responsibility
Admit you made a mistake. This may seem the obvious thing to do. However sometimes our pride can get in the way and instead of looking at our part in what happened we want to blame everyone else. 

Blaming others may seem the easy way out, but it is not the healthy way out. When we can take responsibility for our mistakes, when we are accountable for them, we can learn and grow from and through our mistakes. 

2. Reflect on the learning to be gained
Mistakes really do help us to learn and to grow if we are willing to take the time. If we are courageous enough to honestly assess what happened, we will begin to understand the processes at work that lead to the undesired outcome. 

Take time to reflect on what went wrong. Look for attitudes that might have been at play, work practices that might be sloppy, or wrong premises that could lead to less than acceptable results. 
 Rather than reacting to them, we can start to respond in a way that is positive. 

Ask yourself:
What happened – what am I observing about the outcome that is unhelpful and undesired? (Others may be able to give insight into what happened so be prepared to ask questions)

Where did it start to go wrong?

What mindset did I have about this project, relationship, business partnership or team?

Who is on my team? How did I handle the team relationships?

Do I have the right people on the team with the skills required to properly complete the project or task at hand? If not, What needs to happen to bring that about? (e.g. up-skilling of the present team, new team member).

Consider the team dynamics. Can we improve how we communicate and innovate for greater productivity? If so, how will we create the right dynamic?

3. Self Reflection
Learn to practise ongoing self reflection. Ask:
What about myself?

What learning can I gain from this experience and what could I do differently in the future?

How will I apply what I have learnt to the next project,  my relationships,  partners etc.

Do I need to understand team dynamics and team strengths to create a more productive and inclusive team?

As you answer these questions:
Are there any common themes?

If so you might like to journal them and to see how these themes have created the situation and how your learning could be used to build stronger outcomes in the future. 

Concluding Thoughts
If you are working in a team environment, discover how you can move from a team player to a team leader. The transition is not always easy, but you can learn how to have a great team that has better outcomes for everyone by taking time to reflect on your dream team.

Click on the link below to discover how you can create a productive, creative and inclusive team and lesson mistakes. 


If you are interested contact me on  to register your interest.


Journalling Exercise 
What transformation would you like to create in your life?

As you reflect on what is important, here’s some questions to ask yourself

What stands out for you? This could be people, times or places.

What mistakes have you made along the way?

Reflect on the learning you now have. How can you use what you have learned to be more productive in the future?

 Jot down Key words or use a mind map and highlight key words 

What changes would you like to make now that will help you see transformation and improve how you navigate the season? 

How can you stay accountable and who will you include?