We’ve all done things that we wish we could have done differently. Sometimes we replay the scenario over and over again in our minds. And when we are resilient and at our best, we are able to look at the mistake objectively, and learn from it, increasing our confidence, knowledge and abilities.
But what if others don’t move on?
You are resilient. You learn from your mistake, and are ready to take on new responsibilities. But you notice you aren’t getting them.
Because your manager hasn’t moved on. He holds onto the mistake you made and is unwilling to give you more responsibility.
What happens then?
I was recently talking with a leader who had been at her organization for over 20 years. Several years ago, she took a risk and created a new project that she was excited about. She had put a lot of time, energy and thought into it.
The project failed. She was disappointed, of course, but she learned from it and gained new skills and critical thinking abilities as a result.
But her manager didn't forget it. He continued to reference the failure during their conversations and in meetings, and would occasionally even make subtle jokes about it.
This manager could not get past this one mistake. His inability to move on took his toll on the leader. She became more cautious. She became less engaged and less invested.
This dynamic eventually led this skilled and valuable woman to leave the organization. She could no longer tolerate being reminded of a mistake she had made years before, one from which she learned and grew.
What’s this mean for managers?
If you're a people manager, what do you do when someone makes mistakes?
Do you bring it out into the light, discuss and examine it together in order to help your team to learn from it so that all can do better next time?
Do you try to ignore it, in which case it’s likely to happen again?
Or, as in the above, do you hold it against someone when they fail, using it as a subtle shaming reference?
Being a leader requires self-awareness and intention. I invite you to share your ideas about how you were able to turn a failure into a great learning opportunity for yourself or your team. Let’s talk about turning mistakes into development opportunities the support even smarter risk taking and innovation.
Set up time to talk to me now at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13527478&appointmentType=12509667
Katie is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and Executive Coach.