Everyone makes mistakes. Conscious leaders learn from them.

Do you worry about making a mistake?

Earlier in my career, I did–a lot. I wanted everything to be perfect. The pursuit of being perfect left me paralyzed to act. I found myself second guessing decisions and leaking energy as I worried about every little detail. Intellectually, I knew everyone makes mistakes, but that didn’t stop me from obsessing about making one. Can you relate?

Why are we afraid of making a mistake? We worry others won’t think we’re good enough.

Making a mistake is not the problem; it’s what you do afterward that really counts.

Years ago, in a sales kickoff meeting, I gave each member of my team a brick. I encouraged them to use the brick to break some glass (metaphorically speaking). I then held up a broom and dustpan and told them I would help them clean up the mess. Why did I do this? I wanted our team to have a growth mindset. I wanted them to realize that when you do anything of value, there is going to be some broken glass along the way. Mistakes are the stepping stones to expand your comfort zone. Making mistakes was inevitable to their growth–our growth.  

People learn from taking action, from the mistakes they make, and from the feedback they receive.

Good leaders allow their team the freedom to experiment.

Good employees acknowledge when mistakes are made, learn from them, own them, fix them, and put safeguards in place to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated.

You can only do this if you change your relationship with mistakes.

Learn to accept mistakes when they happen. Compassionately forgive yourself (or your teammate) for making a mistake, and consciously challenge yourself (and them) to learn from the process.

Perfectionists have a difficult time with this. They mistakenly believe they should never screw up and when they do, they mercilessly beat themselves up. Expecting perfection and then punishing yourself and your team when things are not perfect is a great way to sabotage results. NO ONE performs at their best if they’re worried about making a mistake.

Do you (or does someone on your team) worry about making a mistake?

If so, contact me and let’s make sure it’s not the mistake you’re worried about, but instead the lesson your team learns from it.