How To Learn From Mistakes

May 30, 2016 - 3 minutes read

As leaders, we want to be in a position where we’re providing our team with direction and then leaving it up to them to execute. This means that they will be making decisions on their own, they will try new ways of doing things, and at some point in time, they will experience failure.

Failure is Inevitable

Failure is going to happen. It’s going to happen to you and it will introduce itself to your team. Rather than look at failure as a negative, turn it into a positive. Some of the most crucial lessons you or your team will ever learn are during times of failure, so take advantage of this opportunity and teach your team how to learn from mistakes. Incorporate lessons learned meetings or conversations into your working processes so your team is learning from their mistakes. It’s ok to take calculated risks and fail from time to time, however, it’s NOT ok to continue making the same mistakes over and over.

How To Incorporate Lessons Learned Into Your Working Processes

Project Based

If your working environment is project based, schedule a lessons learned meeting at the conclusion of every project. If the project is long in duration, schedule touch-points along the way.

Non-Project Based

For working environments that are not project based, build feedback loops into working processes. Schedule these on a regular basis and ensure consistency. Lessons learned meetings should take place on a weekly or monthly basis. Avoid having too much time in between each meeting.

Open Door Policy

It’s a good idea to have an open door policy so your team feels comfortable approaching you about challenges the team might be facing. This is a good opportunity to fix any issues right away and update processes so the team can correct quickly and move on. Encourage solution-based feedback and at the conclusion of the conversation, collect any action items and make it a point to follow-up.

Take Advantage of Opportunity

There should be no exceptions when it comes to scheduling lessons learned meetings, building feedback loops into your working processes, or providing leadership training to your team. When you or your team runs into failure, look at this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Come to terms with the fact that mistakes are going to happen and focus on how to learn from mistakes in order to prevent the same mistakes from happening again in the future.