Imagine living in the constant fear of being punished for every mistake that you may make. A dreadful thought, isn’t it? On the other hand, imagine a world where you are allowed to make your fair share of errors? The choice is obvious.
Allowing someone to make mistakes ensures the growth of an individual. Very often in zero tolerance situations, more efforts are made in covering tracks and shifting blame than on correcting the mistake. The focus automatically shifts from correcting errors to concealing them; the latter being highly damaging to any organization.
We as human beings make mistakes. Organizations have to fins a way to accept them. But such cultures are not built in a day. managers built with zero tolerance need a high level of self control to allow minor mistakes to pass. It’s even more challenging to look at a bigger mistake and say – ‘We can make this right. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again’ in a calm yet firm tone. It”s only when mistakes are allowed that one is willing to take risks; and we all know that taking risks has more often than not lead to great decisions.
Individuals are naturally hard on themselves when they make a mistake. Harping on it, punishing them only makes it worse. However, an organization needs to know how to balance the two edges of an equally sharp sword. I do not have to mention the dangers of being too lax.
One must however remember that an organization that accepts and allows mistakes is not necessarily a ‘caring organization’. That involves much more.
How well does your organization accept mistakes?