How an effective leader reacts to mistakes?
“All leaders make mistakes. They are a part of life. Successful leaders recognize their errors, learn from them, and work to correct their faults.”- John C. Maxwell
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”- John C. Maxwell
“A true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their mistakes.” .”- John C. Maxwell
What else do we really need to understand how to appreciate the mistakes? Maxwell’s enlightening quotations are enough guidance for us to realise that its attitude towards a mistake that sets a leader apart from the rest. Lots of us can become bosses, but only a few can actually live up to being a leader.
So, have you been blown up lately? We all face difficult situations in our lives, some because of us and some because of others around us. Somewhere we all mess up things and commit mistakes in spite of our best intentions. That’s completely natural!
You are mistaken if you think that leaders don’t make mistakes. Surprisingly, it’s not that leaders don’t make mistakes; that’s not what makes them leaders. It's their approach to the mistakes which make them able in handling their teams and followers well. A conversant and informative Leadership Coaching from a reputed organisation can impart these valuable qualities in you.
Your approach to handling blunders can make you win peoples’ hearts as well. Let’s check out how an effective leader responds to a mistake.
1. Own up your mistakes
This is the main mantra of being a true leader. Many of us can be bosses; but only a few can be impactful leaders. It's this basic attribute of a leader which makes them appreciated by fans and followers. If you are a team leader, a leader of an organisation, or a leader guiding masses for any purpose of life, it’s your attitude towards a mistake that makes you different from the crowd. Never try to push the blame on others, especially your juniors. Do not exercise your power to put the guilt on your subordinates. Avoid covering up your mistakes. Instead, stand tall and admit your mistake. Acknowledge it; it's not a big deal.
2. Do not show your insecurity
This is possibly very detrimental to your leadership qualities. If you have made a mistake, do not feel insecure about it. Do not shy away from others and sit in the dark procrastinating on why and how it happened. It's time to take lessons from it and let it go. Do not suffer from the insecurity of looking weak in front of your team. In fact, your vulnerability to accepting the mistake can be your actual strength. Who knows, you might be highly appreciated for your honesty and even given a promotion for this amazing quality.
If you are nervous about showcasing your weaker side, go for Leadership Coaching. A true-life leadership coach will transform this weakness of you into strength.
3. Be the first one to speak up
“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.” - Nikki Giovanni.
Well, you know you have messed it up, right? So now, do you want to be a boss or a true leader?
Leaders are the fully grown and mature version of bosses.
We all love surprises, but detest shocks! So, walk up and reveal the mistake you have made. Don’t wait for others, your seniors or juniors, to discover the secret. Trust, if you do this, it will not reduce your manager’s confidence, but rather heighten it. Good leaders believe in verbalising their faults before anyone else does it. Call your manager, send him a text or shoot an email about what has happened.
If you need to inform your clients, draft a genuine and honest email explaining what and why you made the error. Don’t hesitate to apologize wholeheartedly. “To err is human”. It proves you are a human being and not an automated robot.
4. Give a complete explanation
Part of acknowledging your mistake is also giving a full diagnosis of it. You might not have every detail of the error, especially if others are also involved in the same pipeline of the task. But, bring to the table all the facts and information you have. Delve deep into why the issue has happened. This will increase the confidence and trust of your clients and seniors.
Added to this, your boss is aware that you were the first to walk up to his chamber to claim your fault. Now you are also trying to deep dive into it to give a full demonstration of it. You have already won his confidence!
5. Fix the problem soon
Just admitting the error doesn’t make you an effective leader. A true leader will also find ways to fix the issue soon. Go the extra mile and find solutions to the problem. Take help from team members, other teams in the organisation as well as your boss to find out what can be done to sort the issue sooner.
6. Learn from the fault
This one is a quality that sets an effective leader class apart from any average boss.
Committing an error isn’t a sin, but not learning from it makes you naïve.
The nature of successful leaders is to try new things, experiment, fail and learn. Mistakes are perhaps the best teachers for your life’s lessons. Learn from it and ensure that you do not commit the same error again. Understand what went wrong from your side and that will be your best self-education. Don’t limit yourself from creativity with the phobia of ending up with an error. Make sure you don’t make careless mistakes and repeated errors. But, allow yourself to discover new things and try it out.
7. Look at the bigger picture
An effective leader always has his/her vision focussed on the end goal. Look straight into your main aim, unperturbed. Mistakes can never stop you from improving. Do not quit because of your error. Stop dwelling in the same thoughts and don’t let it be heavy on you. Get up and get going, because it’s the bigger picture that matters to a leader. Mistakes are just a part of the journey.
An effective leader knows how to respond to a mistake, and not react to it.
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