Archive for February, 2010

Let Them Make Mistakes

Date Sunday, 7 February 2010  Posted in Category Management  Tags , ,   Comment No Comments »

“A boss fixes blame, a manager fixes mistakes.”

There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this: ‘Tell me and I will remember for an hour; show me and I will remember for a day; but let let me do it and I will remember for ever.’ Fair enough.

And if you are going to let people do it then they are going to do it badly at first. They are going to make mistakes. And you are going to let them.

If you are a parent you know the agonizing thing you go thought with a two-year-old who insists they can pour their own drink and then proceeds to spill most of it on the table. You sand by with a cloth behind your back because you know that:

Let them make mistake

– they are going to spill it
– it is you who going to have to mop it up
– the spilling process is important and you have to let them do it and they will progress to not spilling but only once they have got the spilling our of the way first.

As a parent you do that wonderful hovering things, ready to grab the juice if it is going to spill too much, or grab the sup it is going over, or even grab the child if it is going to fall off the chair due to such intense concentration.

I am not saying members of your team are like small children. Well, I am actually but do not tell them – but it is imperative you learn to let them do the spilling if they are to progress, Make sure you have your cloth behind your back ready to mop up after them.

And after each spilling you do not tell them off. Instead, you offer praise – ‘Well done, brilliant job, incredible progress’. Try not to let them see the cloth or the mopping up.

This is the way I grow my children and my team members – let them learn from the mistake.