What’s the first thing that comes to mind, when something goes wrong . . . when mistakes have been made? In leadership training, I was taught to look inward first. Others argue with me on that, but I find it to be pretty accurate.
Rather than immediately seeking a target for finger-pointing, I will check what part I played. Were my instructions detailed enough? Did I allow enough time? Did I inform everyone who needed to know?
Even if the error itself was that of someone else, I want to check how I could help prevent it, next time around. I can’t control what others will do. But I can always control what I do. When I meet with others to discuss the error, I admit what I would have done differently and ask what they would have changed.
The result is so much more fruitful than make accusations and putting everyone on the defensive. It’s a technique I believe in and have taught. It especially holds well if you are practicing servant leadership.
How do YOU react when things go wrong…when you make mistakes? Think about what you do . . . what you say . . . and how It affects those around you. Does it help prevent future errors?
If your technique has worked, keep it – And let me know what it is. If not, give it some new thought.