Building a Team: Accepting Mistakes

By integrating multiple perspectives, you can typically meet diverse needs. Inevitably, mistakes occur. When errors happen, gather people together to discuss the issues opening. When the team makes an ongoing attempt at curiosity, innovation, and creativity, surprising results tend to emerge. Use these tips to turn a potential disaster into learning opportunity.


Review Project Proceedings


During the beginning, middle and end of every project, conduct surveys to examine customer, employee and business partner’s opinions. Even when customers report dissatisfaction, employees’ disagree with strategies or business partners lack confidence in company operation, opportunities evolve.


Allow Discussion


Empower employees to speak up when they have something to say about policies, procedures, and processes. When you ask open-ended questions, encourage active listening and spark stimulating conversations about errors, you can help prevent both small and significant long-term problems.


Foster Collaboration


Use online collaboration tools to collect input from teams who don’t work in the same location, region or time zone. Encourage participation from all functions required to deliver a product or service. You may find that a team solves a problem in one environment that transfers nicely to an entirely different area.


Encourage Experiments


When your business expands into new markets, empower your staff to make reasoned business judgments and take some gambles to experiment with new ideas. Use an iterative approach to take actions that address uncertainty with a positive attitude. By allowing some non-standard behavior, you may be able to reduce waste and open new markets.


Pause to Reflect


Encourage people to observe, question and discuss throughout a project, particularly when things don’t go well. Set up regular meetings to check in on project status. When things go awry, conduct an offsite meeting, focus group or online survey to collect input on why certain actions caused specific outcomes. By reviewing the results, you can promote activities that work and discontinue behaviors that aren’t productive.


In summary, when working on project teams, long-term results work out best if you can accept mistakes and learn from errors. People who trust each other tend to rely on each other for advice and guidance. This action fosters error prevention in the first place.