I recently watched one of the best commencement speeches I’ve ever seen. It was given by Neil Gaiman at the University of The Arts. In the speech he talked about making mistakes and how we need to do this to learn and move forward.
I fully agree with this statement. At the same time we need to ask for help. Making mistakes is part of life. For some reason when we make mistakes we often forget there is a second part and that’s the learning.
Asking for help is not a bad thing. Great managers are great teachers. I’ve never fired anyone or for that matter really given anyone a hard time when they tell me they’ve made mistake. The problem is when the person who made the mistake believes they screwed up. It’s with this mindset that asking for help usually doesn’t happen.
I will get upset when I find out about a mistake without being told first. I believe that bad news (otherwise known as mistakes) doesn’t get better with age. The faster we admit a mistake is made, the faster we can correct and move on.
Admitting a mistake allows us to learn and move on. Making a mistake is a good thing when we learn something from it. When we don’t the mistake is wasted, and bad things often go along with the mistake.
Learning happens when we let others know and know quickly. Sometimes it’s our ego and sometimes we’re scared for what might happen. We need to get our ego out of our way and we need to know that if we’re scared to make a mistake we’re probably in the wrong place.
Make sure you are in a situation where mistakes are at least allowed. If you’re in a situation with a boss or a customer where mistakes are not allowed you probably need to change your job or your customer.
Too many of us feel if we make a mistake we’re made wrong. If that’s your situation, it’s time for you to move on.
When you find a place where mistakes are allowed, then failing fast and asking for help is something to strive for. This is how rapid learning happens. Making mistakes and asking for help allows us to quickly learn better or at least different ways of doing things.
We all have choices about how we live our lives. Who we spend our time with and whether they tolerate our mistakes is an important one. Mistakes make us better people. With the right people they allow us to grow and learn. Letting others in on our mistakes should be a positive. Only we can make the decision to do so.
We’ve put together a resource center with a variety or reports, mind maps and workbooks that can help in various situations. You’ll see that our resource center is broken into four parts. Click on the button below to see our resource center and see what we have available.