Do you treat your employees with respect when they make mistakes?

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English: Hoodie in Da Alley A young person wal...
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I was helping a young person with her project when I discovered that she had missed something important because she hadn’t been paying attention. I had to bite my lip to make sure that I didn’t give her criticism that would be negative and damaging but to provide feedback that could help correct the course. Yes, to correct the mistake would involve inconvenience and more hard work but it was more important to encourage the young person to move forward.

How would you like to be treated when you make a mistake or forget to do something important?

When I look back to growing up, I remember certain important qualities of my grandparents and how they handled me and my brothers. The one thing that stands out is that they always made any fault seem easy to correct. It’s the same principle from that famous human relations expert Dale Carnegie. An unkind word was never spoken, nor was a tone used to diminish the esteem of any one of us three young boys.

The other thing about my grandparents was that the person, the human being was valuable. They gave us unconditional love which meant that when our behaviours were marginal or wrong they kept the focus on the behaviour and how it could be corrected rather than attack us as young people. It’s similar to something that I remember from Dr Denis Waitley who said that performances may be marginal but the performer is always good.

In the hurry-hurry world of small and large business with things that must be done now, where there is frustration, where there are broken promises and low levels of trust, is it realistic to believe that we can deal with people compassionately? Have we become so hardened and uncompassionate that we take the cynical attitude and just don’t care?

The unfortunate reality in the workplace is that when people fall short or make mistakes, an exaggeration of the false takes place. For example, in a credit insurance company a young woman recently made some minor mistake and her supervisor and boss were out to get her. They wanted to nail her. They wanted to crush her. Wasn’t this young person entitled to make a mistake? Why couldn’t they have handled it differently? How come they didn’t sit down with her and have a discussion to tell how much they valued her nine years of service and then tackle her minor error?

No, they didn’t do this. They made her life stressful and treated her like a piece of dirt. Come on, no one needs to be treated like this. It’s disgusting. I am so happy for her because she was able to escape these low-life petty officials and secure a job elsewhere with a far better company.

If you think human relations and handling staff are important to your business, then you may be surprised to find out how it’s dealt with in my forthcoming book titled “Breakthrough Ideas”. Only limited copies will be available so make sure you get your name on the waiting list at no obligation. You might not have another chance.

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