In companies, the assumption seems to have crept in that making mistakes is an economic catastrophe, if not even a disaster beyond expectations. Because if someone in the „company“ cycle does something not as it is written somewhere, then under certain circumstances – perhaps – our customer could no longer buy our product at the end.
Yeah, that could be a possible consequence. But it could also be that, despite all perfection and accuracy, the customer no longer buys the product in the end.
Are we failing because of our own claim to perfection?
Errors in our culture are usually associated with negativity. We’ll learn that in school. There, flawlessness is „rewarded“ with good marks and recognition. Mistakes, on the other hand, are „punished“ with bad marks and a pointer.
Somehow the opinion has formed that mistakes are an image of one’s own imperfection, of not being perfect.
I think mistakes are something very valuable and THE essential foundation for success. They show exactly where the potential is. Where the company can start to find further development and possibly innovation. And that’s what makes it successful in the end.
As consumers, we claim that the product we buy is always free of defects. It should be perfect and perfect. A small blemish, no matter how tiny, is usually not accepted by us and leads to the fact that we do not buy the product or exchange it, if we have ordered it for example by on-line shopping.
I’ll give it a try with an example from everyday life that everyone knows.
It’s Saturday and I’m at the supermarket, at the fruit and vegetable counter. I only find accurate looking vegetables there. Carrots of about the same length and shape. Apples of the same size. Asparagus that is so straight that I can replace a ruler with it.
All perfectly bred and designed for flawlessness.
And what else strikes me: Once a somewhat different looking piece of fruit or vegetables has made it into the shop, it lies at the side and is thrown away at the end of the day.
Why is praise only given to the positive?
„You learns from mistakes“, „Practice makes the master“, „Damage makes one wise“.
Three sentences that we all know, which we have all certainly already said ourselves in one form or another, or which we have been told. And each of these sentences brings me something good. Namely the look into a future, forward and not back. The realization that something I did did not bring the result I had suspected, but gave me another, another, a new possibility how ewtas could develop.
The Nobel Prize winner Max Ferdinand Perutz, who comes from Vienna, once said: there can be no progress without mistakes.
However, praise is only given if a good result is achieved. Or have you ever heard: „Great, how you did it wrong“. At least, I haven’t yet.
Forget your fear, mistakes make you and us successful!
In my opinion, the biggest mistake we make is to believe those claims about mistakes that only result in negative consequences (stress, insecurity, fear). Hence my appeal to you: Allow you and us the freedom to make mistakes!
Mistakes are part of your life and mine. And not only professionally OR privately, but professionally AND privately. All of us literally miss in the course of our lives. How such a situation is then dealt with is not only a sign of your or my personality, but also an expression of a culture of mistakes in which you and I live.
There is still a lot of room for improvement, because the error culture – not only private or professional, but in our entire society – is in a questionable state.
Or to put it another way: the supposedly so open handling of mistakes, the appreciation of one’s own imperfection, remains in most cases a grey theory.
In reality, however, every mistake and the associated fear of possible consequences (maybe the customer does not buy the product) is swept under the carpet as best he can and stored together with him in the cellar or in the attic. Supposedly, this is the only way to guarantee that the error remains undetected forever.
But does the incorrect handling of mistakes really make the situation better? Or is this not more likely to increase the pressure to make no more mistakes and let your and my stress level go through the roof?
Let’s celebrate failures because they bring us more creativity
During my studies I read in a study of the California School of Professional Psychology that the negative emotions of managers have a negative effect on their employees. So if, after a mistake, a boss let himself be carried away to a purely human, negative emotion, such as anger or annoyance about this mistake and then showed this emotion to his employee, a lower creativity was found and the commitment also decreased, which then led to further mistakes.
Especially in today’s companies and organizations we should take this to heart and learn from it. Let us learn together to recognize the mistakes of the people around us for what they really are: Opportunities to learn something new, opportunities for personal and professional development and opportunities to grow from it.
Why I am for a YES to make mistakes
You will learn something new in any case
Faulty action gives us the possibility of (further) development. Although it may seem important in a professional context not to make mistakes in certain situations that could worsen the results, only these mistakes have the potential to make our own abilities grow. If I never have to question myself, because everything I obviously seem to be right, I take the chance to develop my own strengths.
You strengthen your personality
Only when I have to deal with my own mistakes and weaknesses can I build up a strengthened self-confidence. This in turn helps me to develop a good and positive attitude towards mistakes, so that I do not feel a setback as discouraging, but as an incentive.
With the knowledge: it still goes on. So you can make making mistakes take away your fear of making mistakes and you can reinterpret a mistake from something supposedly bad into something good.
You will work more efficiently
At first glance, does it seem to be a contradiction? Think about how often you pause in the workflow just because you have to consider whether what you want to do now is error-free. Your own feeling of perfection stands in your way and inhibits the possibly existing 1 million Euro idea, just because it is not thought over, researched and refined down to the smallest detail.
You increase your chances of success
Exactly, because as I wrote at the beginning:
„Mistakes are, I think, something very valuable and THE essential foundation for success. They show exactly where the potential is. Where the company can start to find further development and possibly innovation. And that’s what makes it successful in the end.“
Take care and have a happy day