Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration, Leadership Inspiration

Dealing with mistakes as a LEADER

A friend was telling me about an experience he had recently with a Supervisor.  The Supervisor told him that he had forgotten to fill out some of his paperwork and missed a couple of things.  The Supervisor corrected it and my friend thanked his Supervisor.  The next day another Supervisor approached him and said to him the other day you forgot to fill out some of your paperwork.  You really need to make sure you fill it out right.  This really upset my friend because he rarely forgets to fill out his paperwork correctly and the situation had already been addressed with him.  My friend talked to both of the Supervisors and said he rarely makes mistakes and this shouldn’t have been brought up again by the other Supervisor.  My friend was very upset and felt as though he was being ridiculed.  He felt that he shouldn’t have been reminded of the incident when it was already addressed by the first Supervisor.

Did the first Supervisor handle the situation correctly when he approached the employee and told him about the mistake?  I think he did however he didn’t need to broadcast it to the other Supervisor if this was a onetime mistake.

Did the second Supervisor handle the situation appropriately?  I think not, why bring it up again and say you really need to fill it out right.

The first Supervisor took care of the situation and talked to the employee.  He explained the mistake and fixed it.  The employee was thankful and was going to recheck his work in the future.  He left feeling encouraged and respected.

The second Supervisor changed it.  The employee now deemed humiliated, ridiculed and angry.  He was no longer encouraged about the workplace instead felt betrayed.

  • Do you think the employee is motivated, inspired and wants to come to work each day?
  • Does the employee feel safe that if he makes any other mistakes in the future that everyone is going to know about it?

Mistakes happen and that is how we learn.  We should be encouraging staff to take responsibility for their actions, correct their mistakes, as well as learn from them.  Of course if this was a continuous problem it would  be addressed differently.  ~ Patti

Reflection Questions:

  • As a Leader what do you think of this situation?
  • How would you handle this situation if it came up in your workplace?

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