Are there folks out there that have never made a mistake? Let’s face facts, we all have made a mistake or two along our journeys. They could be personal or professional. We can not be expected to get everything 100% right all the time.
When I was coaching youth sports, I used to tell my teams that we can learn from our mistakes. We can take everything we do and revisit it and think of different ways to get a better result. I used to say the same thing to my teams at work. Sometimes those mistakes are not easy to watch on game film, but when you really look at missing a critical deadline or not producing the results you expected – you can do a post-mortem to get to critical items.
I don’t want to spend too much time on learning from your mistakes. We all get to see that everyday! Look at the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl failure. They are demonstrating that they have learned from that mistake!
There is much more than learning from failure – it is owning up to said failure! You have to own the problem…
I have seen time and time again, that not owning up to your failures will have long term implications. If you are a coach or workplace manager – you will lose your team or your job! It happens. I had the unfortunate pleasure of having to work for a manager that never took responsibility for mistakes or failures. It was too easy to point to someone or something else.
So what can you do? If you are a parent, coach, manager or just a person trying to get stuff done…. Here are 3 things that I think will help out greatly!
- Be accountable! Demonstrates that you are responsible… When you make a mistake, get ready to take accountability for it. Parents have a great responsibility in teaching this to their children. A child’s mistake is not a reflection of the parents. Remember mistakes happen to everyone. What is important is teaching the responsibility of being accountable for their actions. As a coach, I used to tell the players that they play and mistakes will happen – it is how you react and improve from the mistake. I always spent more time with the player that did not take responsibility for their mistake. Trying to teach them that being accountable – is what is more important than the mistake. When I made my mistakes, I would stand up and say – I messed up. I would not pass it onto my team, I am their leader – I messed up.
- Be honest! Demonstrates your integrity… It’s always easier to point to someone or something else or worse yet – ignore the failure. What does that say about you? As a parent, coach or leader – your integrity is key. As a parent, you need to teach your child about the importance of having integrity. If you put the blame on the teacher or the youth sports coach – rather than the student or player – you are demonstrating where your integrity lies. Be the role model for your kids! As a coach and leader – it is something that you can reinforce by not ignoring failure or passing the buck. All eyes are on you – make sure they see your best work!
- Be upfront! Demonstrates you care… It is so easy to honestly say you are accountable. There is the be upfront part that many miss. If a failure or mistake happens, you have to not ignore it and hope it does not happen again. You have to embrace it with accountability, be honest about the failure and be upfront in the making sure you will do better in the future. There was nothing that I would not do for my players, work team or my family. My actions were always in the best interest of them, rather than me!
I have written a few times about the lack of accountability. We get to see if time and time again – with celebrities, professional sports figures or even within our own circle of friends… We should start with accountability – move onto honesty of our assessment and being upfront of our planning and plans for the future!