Whether you’re a CEO or an intern, a student or a teacher, a parent or a friend, it’s almost impossible to get through an entire day without realizing you’ve made a mistake. Busy schedules and over-long to-do lists make mistakes even more likely. Some are small and easily remedied, and others can have long-lasting repercussions.
Especially if you pride yourself on being careful and thorough in everything you do, mistakes can feel shameful.
[quote]We can ignore and cover our mistakes, or we can choose to learn from them and use them as lessons. [/quote]
What’s your approach to mistakes?
How many of these actions are part of your response?
Acknowledge. When we acknowledge a mistake—without drama, without excuses, without shaming ourselves—we can move on to the important tasks correcting the mistake and finding ways to prevent it from happening again.
Accept. Everyone makes mistakes. When we take responsibility for being human (and by nature imperfect), we accept ourselves and become open to accepting others.
Apologize. “I am sorry” are very powerful words. Whatever form it takes, a sincere apology can prevent a mistake from disturbing a relationship.
Adjust. The impulse to judge ourselves is strong and self-forgiveness can be hard. It’s important to adjust your own view of yourself and your mistakes to reflect the same attitude you would show to others.
Apply. When we can apply the wisdom we gain from your mistakes, we can carry them forward with us as a positive experience.
[quote]It’s said that there are no mistakes, only lessons, and our biggest mistakes are our greatest source of learning. [/quote]
None of us would ever choose to make a mistake. But in adjusting how we think about our mistakes, we can turn them into something better. Remember mistakes are proof that you are trying.
[quote]As leaders, we establish our character, demonstrate our values, and set a powerful example for others with how we handle our own mistakes.[/quote]
Lead from Within: Mistakes help us keep ourselves in perspective, to really learn and grow. We often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than by being right for the wrong reasons.
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.