Source | FastCompany : By PAOLINA MILANA
Whether you’ve just started training your first hire or you’ve been managing scores of people for decades, you’re in the position of being a leader. And if there’s one aspect of leadership that holds true, regardless of staff size or industry, it’s that being one isn’t for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart.
So much of your job isn’t about hitting goals, but rather about being rooted in reality, constantly striving to bring perspective and empathy to whatever situations you encounter. Sometimes, finding the right words can be the biggest challenge of your day. But other times, you’re overthinking it, and it’s as simple as saying these six tiny sentences.
Your brand-new hire accidentally sent out the typo-riddled draft of an email to your customers. The inbox is inundated with complaints. You have two choices right now: Tell your direct report how much he’s messed up or look him in the eyes and say, “Don’t sweat it.” After all, it was clearly a mistake, and he let you know as soon as it happened (if that’s not the case, then obviously another tactic is needed).
Why it matters: A great manager knows that it’s a waste of time to wallow and worry about a past we can’t change. And unless this person’s a repeat mistake maker (or, as mentioned above, not really aware or bothered by the error), it isn’t productive or beneficial to the company to turn up the heat and risk even more mishaps because this person’s now paralyzed with fear, afraid to take any next steps.
We’ve all been there. And hindsight is indeed 20/20. So why not use this as a learning lesson by asking your entire team what this incident had to offer in the way of teachable moments.
Why it matters: True leaders know that failure is just an opportunity to learn and do better. And if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying. Progress over perfection is key to growth and success, both for individuals as well as corporations. And as leaders, it’s really our responsibility to mentor and teach our staff how to learn from mistakes, rather than to fear them.