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?

Please feel free to share your comments below in “Leave a Reply”. 


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6 thoughts on “Dealing with mistakes as a LEADER

  1. If only all supervisors would spend time reading blogs or articles on how to be more effective in their position. I think employees would respond better to the way the first supervisor approached the situation. If it continues, then maybe they should change their approach. I had a boss that refused to explain why two of us were written up. I just wanted to know which issues needed to be corrected. He refused and fired me and then called me to a different part of the store surrounded by customers to publicly fire me. Awful.

  2. I agree, it is important for Supervisors to continue to learn and grow. Spending time reading blog posts and/or articles on how to be more effective in their position is very helpful. Thank you Delilah for sharing your experience. ~ Patti 🙂

  3. This happened to me a lot in my work history. That’s one of the contributing factors to why I have no intention of ever reentering the workforce on any other level than working for myself.
    I feel angry and belittled when this sort of thing happens. To me it feels like the other supervisor is just taking a power trip out on me.

  4. Hi, The Lovely Missquinn ~ My mission as a Coach is to bring awareness to Leaders (Supervisors and Managers) to encourage change in the workplace environment so everyone is productive, satisfied and happy to go to work. Thank you so much for sharing your workforce experience. I hope with you sharing this experience it will touch others to be more aware of how they treat employees, co-workers and others. We all make mistakes in Leadership that is how we grow, learn and become better leaders. ~ Patti 🙂

  5. I agree with the first Supervisor’s approach. If there at errors or mistakes that needs to be corrected – approach the employee on a one on one meeting and discuss the issue. The meeting can be used as a great tool to find out if the employee misunderstood policies or procedures or if more training is needed. Knowledge is power. Sharing knowledge with each other increases productivity and morale. Thank you for sharing.

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