Put Your Inner Critic on Holiday

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By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

Melissa Davies

“I can’t believe I did that – how did I miss that issue when I hired them? Clearly, they don’t know what they’re doing! I’m such an idiot!”

How many of us have hired someone and then regretted it? Or selected someone to lead an important project only to find out that the person wasn’t ready yet to go it alone? If you can pick out a few what was I doing moments, know that you’re definitely not alone!

Yet, how do we make certain that this does not become a derailing event in our careers? How do managers and leaders move past these mistakes and ensure that they don’t happen again?

  1. Leaders need to do a critical job – LEAD! If what you did was hire the right person for the wrong position, then identify how to work with them and find a fit for them within the organization. Maybe this means that you look for a different opening within the team. Maybe it means that you spend your time coaching and growing them into the position that you may have erroneously hired them to do. Whatever it is, figure it out and ensure that everyone is successful!
  2. Self-reflect. If you botched a client presentation and they’re not happy, then make it right! Spend time identifying what you did that contributed to the less-than-successful situation. Speak with the client and be honest. “This didn’t go well and I want to change that. What can I do/we do to make this right and put us back on the path to success?”
  3. If the team failed to create a less than stellar deliverable, work with the team to do an after-action report. Have everyone check their egos at the door and do a complete debrief. Identify what went wrong, what went well, and what are the steps for moving forward. Consider ideas and suggestions from everyone on the team; no one’s view is any less important than another’s. Come up with a plan of action for moving forward and creating a path to success.

Things happen in life – no one is above making a mistake. The sign of a leader is someone who is able to pick up the pieces and move on, working to make sure these situations don’t happen again. Leaders learn from their mistakes. If you’ve made a mistake or two, do the hard work needed to fix what you. Then stop beating yourself up about it.

How will you move forward from your mistakes?


Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of “How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work”.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at info@wisewaysconsulting.com or through wisewaysconsulting.com.




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