Fatal Management Errors and How To Avoid Them

Making mistakes is a natural part of being a manager and leading a team. Nobody can EVER say that they have not made a huge, awful, gut-wrenching and costly mistake in the workplace simply because nobody is that perfect!

And if they are why are they not solving world hunger, international diplomacy or storming the barriers of medical science.

Many organisations will be interested in recruiting staff that have made errors in the past simply because wise and savvy organisations see the value in that critical development process as long as the error is not repeated. To make an error is part of personal growth; what is not part of personal growth is making the same error over and over again.

For those poor souls the pit of doom beckons – and never too soon!

So what “Golden Rules” could be identified to make sure that errors and slip-ups are a learning and developmental process?

  • Always keep your finger on the pulse and carefully monitor the progress of any change process that you are involved with; if it starts to all go slightly wobbly do something about it
  • Always reflect on your own thought processes and mental models and identify carefully where things started to become unstuck
  • Critically assess the effects of your own behaviour and discuss them openly; how, for example, do what you consider to be clear instructions actually result in the action that you wanted? Is your leadership style, well, a bit questionable?
  • How often do you suspend judgement and step back to look at the problem or issue? Tempting to dive in with both feet but how often has this resulted in more errors and problems? Test out your hunches and feelings before committing to a course of action that then cannot be reversed.
  • How often do you ask for the views, opinions and wisdom of others? Leading may well be a lonely job sometimes but it does not have to be all of the time! Seek out a critical friend who will give you sound advice in a safe and supportive way!
  • Actually celebrate not just acknowledge the mistakes you make. Fessing up takes courage but bearing your soul brings with it respect and admiration from your peers and staff. The error is a golden opportunity to learn and fine-tune your skills and competences. Share this with others to save them from the same pitfalls – you will be amazed just how much gratitude you will receive for this in the long-run.

Above all recognise that mistakes will happen, do happen and should happen – because no-one is so perfect that this will not happen!

Good Luck!

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