It happens all the time in life, but if you’re in business you definitely experience it.
Let’s say you’re a manager and an employee makes a mistake.
How do you react?
Do you get mad at the employee?
Do you blame the employee and move on from the situation?
That’s a common way to handle a situation like that. You simply blame the person involved and move on from the situation without really giving it a second thought.
I’ve done it. I still do it.
It’s just like in everyday life, say, when you’re driving and someone cuts you off. You get angry with them, blame them and move on with life.
A Different Perspective
Something I’m trying to do different with how I approach things is to look at it as if it’s never the other person’s fault.
I think it’s rare when someone does something to harm others on purpose. I think it’s rare that people will act in their own interest to the detriment of others. There are obviously examples that stand out, but I think for the most part people aren’t trying to harm you or to make you upset or anything like that.
I’m not 100% successful with approach life and business in this way, but I’m working on getting better.
For example, let’s say an employee turns in a project and it’s not what you wanted. It would be easy to just look at it like the employee didn’t do a good job. That might be the case, but flip it around and look at the situation as if it were your fault.
Ask yourself what you could have done to bring a better outcome.
When you start thinking about things this way it really changes how you view the world and how you view your business. And the great thing is that you can start focusing on what you control and take more control of your company.
Some things that could have been done in that situation with the employee and the project could include the manager providing better direction. They could have provided some more checkpoints along the way to catch any potential issues before they became bigger issues.
What Do You Control In The Situation?
When you look at the world like it’s never the other person’s fault and that it’s your fault you’re always looking at the world in terms of what you control.
If an employee does something wrong and you just blame it on them then you’re not allowing yourself to improve the situation or the company. The same thing will probably repeat itself over and over even if you hire another employee.
But if you look at the situation and the elements you control you can make changes. You can help those that work with you to do a better job and that’s good for them and good for you and the company.
And it might still be that the employee shouldn’t be working for your company. But you could go back and look at your hiring process and figure out how to bring the right people on board so you avoid potential issues in the future.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
One little caveat here is that you don’t want to be too hard on yourself. It can be easy to fall into that trap when you switch over to this new way of thinking.
But not everything is worth beating yourself up over.
You do want to look at situations and what you can control. You do want to look at ways to get better, but don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong. You can feel bad and use it as motivation to improve, but use it as an opportunity.
We all need failure and frustration in life. That’s how we learn and improve. But some people can get a little too hard on themselves and that can cut down on the motivation. It can leave you in a bad place and you won’t be a good person to be around and all that.
And really when you start looking at situations and what you can control you might be a more empathetic boss and that’s good for your company. You’ll attract more and better employees and the same is probably true with clients and customers.
I love golf and it’s a really frustrating game at times. You can plan and execute a great shot and it can hit a bump just the wrong way and bounce into a hazard. That will drive you nuts. It’s easy to blame the course designer or someone else for the bad break.
But the fact is that life throws you bad breaks. It happens to everyone. You just kind of have to roll with while looking for ways you were wrong in your plan and execution.
Approach life this way and I think you’ll find that you’ll always be finding little ways to continuously make your business better. You’ll avoid many repeat issues because you’ll be working on fixes and improvements.
It’s a good habit to get into as a business leader.