As entrepreneurs, or managers, it’s easy to overlook our own mistakes.
Actually, I don’t think entrepreneurs overlook their own mistakes. I think what does happen, though, is that when we make a mistake ourselves we immediately look for a way to move forward.
And over time we tend to forget the number of mistakes we made because we were able to find solutions.
But what can happen that can set you off course is when someone on your team makes a mistake. You get annoyed and wonder if the person can do their job.
Maybe it doesn’t get that severe, but I caught myself starting to think that way the other day. I had to step back for a second and think about the situation.
Nobody Is Perfect, Not Even Team Members
As business owners, the business is our baby. We want the best for it.
But part of owning a business is bringing on other people to perform tasks. It will be difficult to find people that care about your business as much as you.
And even if you do find people like that and great workers in general it will be tough when they make mistakes. I think it’s tough because when you’re paying someone you feel like they should be perfect. I think we do this without even realizing.
But if you fall into that line of thinking for too long you risk poisoning your culture.
Last week I wrote about Vanilla Ice and his management style. That context was about how he’s not really a complainer, but there is another aspect of his management style that fits with today’s topic: managing mistakes.
His crew works in construction and remodeling. That’s an industry where accidents happen. What’s impressive about Vanilla Ice is how he responds to those mistakes.
He isn’t happy when mistakes happen, but he moves on pretty quickly. He starts thinking about how to fix the issue just as he would when he makes mistakes.
And the thing is that he does make mistakes himself just as we all do. It’s just easier when you’re the owner of the company to quickly move on from your own mistake.
That’s the key when your team members make mistakes. Recognize that they do happen. You’ve probably made them yourself. When they do happen look for a way to move forward.
There is no success when you focus on blame.
The other side of this situation is noticing trends and focusing on what needs to happen in the best interest of the company.
There are times when someone on your team probably needs to be replaced. But you better have a plan for replacing them because if you act before you have a plan in place you could find yourself worse off than you are now.
And that can happen if you act with too much emotion. If you let the mistakes your team members make get to you in the moment you can overreact and hurt the business.
Most of the time when someone makes a mistake they know what happened and they can fix it. Other times it will be up to you to figure out how to avoid the situation and others like it in the future.
The goal is to avoid trends.
When something keeps happening over and over it’s a sign that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
And the fix might not be getting rid of the team member. Maybe the solution is to not work with that client anymore or clients that fit their profile. Maybe it means buying better supplies or using better tools. It could mean changing part of your procedure.
The final takeaway here is to recognize that mistakes happen and the real key is to not focus on a person as being at fault, but to move forward and figure out a solution so the company will be better off in the future.