4 simple steps to handling (your) mistakes as a leader

Mistakes are a part of life. No one is perfect. There’ll always be mistakes made, whether they are business or personal. They’re ultimately what makes us human. The only thing that matters when it comes to making mistakes is how you handle them.

In fact, handling business mistakes well, can be the perfect opportunity to prove your ability to handle sticky situations as a leader.

Leaders who handle these situations well will set an example for their staff and will earn their respect. Those who fail to effectively handle their mistakes can cause chaos and disruption within themselves and their team.

Here are the 4 steps that the best leaders follow when tackling their mistakes:

1. Admit the mistake

It’s a common concept for leaders to not acknowledge their mistakes as this can be seen as a sign of weakness; however, this will only worsen the problem.

Not admitting your mistakes as a leader demonstrates immaturity and insecurity and will cost you respect from your staff.

Some leaders even go to great lengths to cover their mistakes or blame it on others! Losing them even more respect from their team!

The best thing to do is admit your mistakes when made. Don’t be afraid of doing so as your team will a) understand that you’re human and appreciate your honesty, and b) respect you more!

2. State the problem

Apart from admitting mistakes, great leaders ensure they’re not disclosing irrelevant information when they admit their mistake.

State the overall problem when acknowledging your mistake, but try not to delve too much into the details.

Your team don’t need the in’s and out’s of your entire business and decisions around your mistake to understand the situation.

All they need is the acknowledgement of the mistake from yourself and to trust that you’ll fix the issue.

3. Correct the mistake quickly

It’s important for great leaders to fix their mistakes as quickly as they can.

This type of behaviour isn’t only good for you as the leader but it’s also a model behaviour that your employees will appreciate and follow.
Doing this will encourage your staff to do the same in their own business and personal mistakes.

If you’re not sure how to fix the mistake on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people around you.

4. Learn and move on

Don’t dwell too much on the negative impact of your mistakes. It will only hold you back and create a negative energy, ultimately affecting your staff.

Instead, think of it as a learning curve.

Don’t make the mistake again, and use what you learnt from making the mistake as a stepping stone to improve yourself and your business.

Following these 4 steps when handling mistakes made in your trade business will earn you respect and trust from your staff. They will also provide a learning opportunity for everyone.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.