Why it’s ok to make mistakes

Why it’s ok to make mistakes

In the last six months, two wonderful women leaders have come and said that not only is it ok to make mistakes in business, but that they recommend it.

This week, Lisa Messenger, CEO of the Messenger Group and founder and editor-in-chief of Collective Hub, said mistakes are a good part of life, because they show that you’re brave enough to take a risk. In May, Naomi Simpson, founding director of RedBalloon and my favourite shark on Shark Tank, said that mistakes are perfectly acceptable; “it’s our ability to learn from that that makes the difference”.

So why do we shy away from mistakes? Why do we hide from them, and how is this detrimental to our business and personal brand? A lot of the time this can come down to fear; fear that we’ll be judged to harshly as business owners or as employees.

Next time you find you’ve made a mistake – because it’s likely there will be a next time – here’s some tips for getting through it.

Own it

Admitting to your mistake and accepting its consequences can be liberating. It’s only once we recognise the problem that we can fix it. Instead of dwelling on something that’s gone wrong, look at it critically, and try to identify:

    • At what point was the mistake made?
    • How did that make you feel?
    • How can you avoid making the same mistake again?

Empower your staff to own it

John Wooden, a US basketball player and coach, once said that “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything”. Giving your employees freedom to try something new is how innovation happens. Stifling them through micro-management is not. Give your employees a chance to try, and be calm and considerate if it doesn’t work out. Help them plan for the worst so that they can be their best – in the end, it will only help your company grow.

Ask for help

Women in Contracting is a community – we’re a public website with a private Facebook Group. We’ve had plenty of discussions here about business practice, productivity tips, and leadership, but we’d love to see this place become a safe space for women to help each other grow and develop. Our Facebook Group is a private group, so you can post here without fear of judgement from the outside world, and we’re looking forward to helping you with what you’d like to achieve.

This post was written by MEA’s Marketing Projects Advisor, Rachelle Forbes. If you have a story to submit, please email us today.

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