Last night when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the Best Picture Oscar accidentally to La LA Land instead of Moonlight, heads spun, tongues wagged, speculation soared and the blame game began. Who was responsible? Was it Faye Dunaway’s fault? Should Warren Beatty have spoken up since he seemed to see something was amiss? Was it the PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant’s lack of attention to detail or maybe the award selection and distribution process in general? So many questions … but the real question is … does assigning blame change anything? Can you get a do-over? Absolutely not. Just like in business, when big errors occur, pointing the finger does not make things right. Identifying the core factors that lead up to the error and coming up with a plan for the future is the best approach.
As leader’s we all have observed errors, big and small, occur in the workplace. Some mistakes can be tragic, but some can lead to better and stronger solutions. The way we handle these incidents can have a huge impact on our staff, productivity, morale and public opinion. Below you will find 5 Leadership Tips for handling Big Mistakes in the workplace.
Leadership Tips When Big Mistakes Happen.
1. Get the facts. Don’t jump to conclusions. When mistakes happen at work there are often several contributing factors. Ask questions and listen without judgement. Remember your goal is to understand what happened and how it happened.
2. Focus on the issue(s) that needs addressing from a clear, logical perspective. Don’t get emotional. Avoid personal blame. Keep it professional.
3. Analyze the situation. Engage key players in the discussion and look for areas of opportunity.
4. Take a future focus approach. While analysis of what happened is important, try to move conversation toward future steps. Remember, the goal is to prevent a re-occurrence of a similar problem or situation.
5. Communicate. If appropriate, let key people know how a problem is being remedied, what role if any they will play moving forward and any future actions to expect.
So the next time your company has a minor-mega-mishap, take the time to examine and explore what happened. Embrace the opportunity to learn from your team’s mistake and develop a plan for moving forward. Your calm, steady handed leadership will set the tone for future improvement and success.
Goldin Leadership helps leaders, like you, grow and evolve to be your best. We offer 1:1 leadership coaching. In addition, we now offer Team Performance Coaching for corporate teams looking to improve their productivity and positivity by 20% or more. Call 949-387-3436 for more information.