By Dr. Kar
All humans are trying to run away from the failures. At first, kids try to hide an “F” received at school, then we feel ashamed because of a bad test score, and, when a person grows up, he continues avoiding mistakes and failures at work. No one wants to be associated with failure. But who said that failures and mistakes are not able to lead us to success? A student who lacks the time and therefore cannot complete the assigned dissertation may just give up on this idea without even trying doing something and as a result will not graduate. On the other hand, if a student devotes some time to come up with a solution to this problem, and, for example, asks for help at some custom essay writing service, it gives him or her chance to succeed. It means that fear and inactivity can harm more than taking a risk.
It’s widely known that failures are not hindrances for a professional, and, moreover, usually they become a booster for people’s success. Some studies have shown that individuals with a pessimistic style of thinking, on average have a higher intelligence, and although they are less decisive in their actions, but cautious, cunning and tend to calculate all the alternatives, to envisage some backup options.
Why do people fear making mistakes?
[su_pullquote]We have got used to the fact that a failure is something bad, something a human should be ashamed of, and something that can change other people’s opinion about you as a professional or person in general.[/su_pullquote]
The most common reason lies in the reaction of other people. We have got used to the fact that a failure is something bad, something a human should be ashamed of, and something that can change other people’s opinion about you as a professional or person in general. Thus, it takes a lot of courage and inside strength to change personal attitude towards your own mistakes and learn to perceive them as a byproduct of creative activities. And it is even more difficult to learn how to transform the problem into the solution.
If we are talking about mistakes at work, the situation gets worse. Today, not many managers and directors actually realize the importance of failures at work, and more often they tend to criticize (or even punish) their workers for their oversights. Such attitude from the top-brass stimulates employees’ fear of expressing their ideas, taking important decisions and doing something wrong, which eventually leads to poor results of the whole company as workers become unenterprising.
What measures should a good manager undertake?
While a leader understands how important it is for workers to make mistakes, a ‘great’ leader always encourages when an employee is admitting his failures and is learning from mistakes at work. You should comprehend and accept the fact that it is much more effective to allow your subordinates to misstep, give an apology for it and give them a chance to fix their mistakes, rather than criticize or punish them for failures. Criticism may influence employee’s confidence and reduce the effectiveness of his work. While praise and encouragement, of course within reasonable limits, will more likely stimulate worker’s desire to find the best solution for the problem and deal with the mistake as soon as possible.
Ten reasons why your employees should not fear making mistakes
There are many reasons that explain the importance of failures and their positive effect on the employees’ work and success, but here we list the top ten of these points that can change your opinion about missteps.
Strengthens the team spirit
[su_pullquote]When workers realize there is nothing wrong in being wrong, they feel more confident in their decisions and actions, which strengthens not only their personality but also the overall team spirit.[/su_pullquote]
When one of your team makes a misstep and instead of understanding and support from the manager he or she gets a reprimand or a fine, this may scare the rest of the team and greatly decrease their belief in the success. Your employees may fear to do something wrong and be punished, so instead they will try to follow the usual pattern that seems safe to them, which blocks people’s creative potential and lead to a critical lack of fresh and creative ideas. What happens if such person feels supported instead? Others might realize that there is nothing wrong about being wrong and should feel more confident in their decisions and actions; it would strengthen not only the character of the individuals but also improve the overall team spirit.
Improves the effectiveness of the work process
If someone is afraid to make a wrong step, it might slow down the working process, as the person might spend more time on thinking about the problem and possible consequences, than on the possible solutions that could bring better results. But when a human puts all of the efforts to resolve the issue and takes unexpected creative decisions fast, it should bring numerous benefits to your company.
Develops new skills and imparts new knowledge
This might be one of the main reasons that prove how useful it may be to do something wrong time after time because when a good employee fails to do something, he will more likely put maximum efforts to fix the problem. While a person is seeking for solutions to the issue, he will definitely gain new knowledge and skills that he lacked previously. However, this rule has exceptions. Not all people are able to admit their mistakes, and while a good worker will apologize and accept his fault, a bad one will try to ensure you that everything was done correctly; as a leader, you must foresee such situations and find an individual approach to such people.
Raises your employees’ confidence
[su_pullquote]The managers should come up with an effective system of bonuses and awards for their workers’ achievements, to stimulate them to put more efforts into their jobs.[/su_pullquote]
Of course, no one likes to feel defeated. However, almost every one of us would react to the failure as if it was a challenge, and if the issue was eventually resolved, it would give a feeling of pride, confidence, and happiness to a human. Thus, if you learn how to encourage efforts of your team members and come up with an effective system of bonuses that you can award them for their achievements, it should help to increase the confidence of your employees greatly and stimulate them to put more efforts into their work.
Decreases the possibility of new mistakes
If a person had made a mistake and after some time of brainstorming and struggle he managed to find a solution, it usually should prevent him from making the same mistake again. Therefore, it is important to teach your workers that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, but also explain to them how to learn from every mistake and approach them as a priceless experience, which can prevent future failures. This way every side will benefit. As a leader, you will get a good worker who already knows how to solve a certain problem fast and effectively, and a worker himself will gain valuable experience, new knowledge, and skills.
Establishes a friendlier and more honest environment in the office
At the office, where a leader had established an honest, trustful and friendly environment, workers would feel themselves much more comfortable, which will help them to put maximum efforts and reach better results. When your employees do not fear to be wrong, it will be easier for them to ask for the help of their teammates, which will lead to more honest and trustful relationships in your office.
Stimulates collaboration between your employees
This point is a result of the previous one. When your employees will feel more freedom in conversations with others, it will become much easier for them to collaborate and work on the solution of the problem together. If the atmosphere in the office will be friendly, then good relationships in your team will very soon show its positive effect on the results of your business.
Helps your workers handle more complex tasks faster
When the employees of your company will learn to share their ideas or problems, ask for help and assist each other, work together to reach common goals, then dealing with more complicated tasks will not seem as difficult anymore.
Why? The answer is simple – one person will always spend more time to do the task, while thanks to the teamwork and collective brainstorming any assignment or issue will be resolved at least two times faster!
Gives more freedom for creative ideas and innovations
A person who doesn’t fear to say or do something wrong, will feel to express his or her ideas, suggest solutions to common problems and will take the initiative more often, which simply cannot be a bad thing for a company. This will result in the variety of creative and innovative ideas that your workers will gladly share with you, and, as a rule, such fresh look at upcoming projects usually leads to the growth of sales and popularity of the company in general.
Increases your company’s success
Teamwork, positive mindset, and friendly atmosphere are some of the main key points to the successful operation of the company. you must inspire your employees, encourage them for new achievements and creative approach, award their efforts and desire to reach better results, and last, but not the least – you must constantly develop yourself and contribute the development of your team. The best way to reach this is to learn from personal mistakes.
How to teach your team to overcome failures?
[su_pullquote]As a good leader, you must explain your workers how to avoid the fear of and learn from mistakes and inculcate in them the desire to improve and think differently. [/su_pullquote]
It is not enough to encourage workers to apologize and cope with their mistakes. As a good leader, you must explain to them how to avoid the fear and learn from such situations. Of course, no one can force a person to change their attitude towards missteps because in order to accept it and learn how to “think differently” they must have the desire to learn and improve, and, of course, it will require some time and efforts. However, as a boss, you can push them towards the right direction.
To do this, share with them some of your experiences and offer to use one of the effective tips:
Offer your team members to start a diary of mistakes
First, try to teach your people to keep track of all their mistakes, pointing out where and under what circumstances they had made them: at work, at home, in the store, was it a spontaneous decision or they took the risk knowingly; a detailed report will help them to identify unfortunate patterns of their behavior and get rid of bad habits as quickly as possible. Teach them to control the environment to change bad habits!
Constantly arrange meetings
Dedicate some time to think about past failures to define how they have influenced the work of your company and what you were able to teach. Perhaps very soon your team will realize that the “fatal” errors that they have made should be better called the engine of progress than something that was worth regretting.
Encourage your team to experiment
Teach your workers to approach the decision-making process as an experiment. We tend always to worry about how rational will be one or the other choice, and it doesn’t matter how fatal the consequences can be; learn to treat every decision as a next experiment, because while experimenting, we are just trying to understand what will happen next.
It is not mistakes, failures or weaknesses that determine the success of a person’s life; it is all about a good knowledge of yourself, your abilities and shortcomings.
It is not necessary to fight with your nature every day; it will be much more effective if you will learn what to do when you make a mistake at work, how to apply your strengths and weaknesses and take the most out of it. Do not turn the struggle for success in the fight against defeat. As a good boss, you must first understand how to learn from your mistakes and only then inspire your team members to follow your example; after all, the only major defeat that you can actually suffer from is a restriction of making mistakes!
Dr. Kar has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in Indian Institutes. He is the Editor and Founder of Business Fundas, a business management knowledge portal.
This article was originally published on Business Fundas.
Featured Image Source: BBC
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