The Best Teaching Moment

Spilled milk
As the old saying goes, "there's no sense crying over spilled milk." (Flickr, sgrace)

Many of us frequently admit, "We all make mistakes." And we say, "To err is human."

And let's not forget, "If you're not making mistakes, then you aren't doing anything."

Leaders will usually fall into one of two camps when it comes to their culture of creativity:

  • Leaders will discourage mistakes and respond in a punitive manner.
  • Leaders will encourage mistakes and respond in an encouraging manner.

I believe that we are influenced by the managers we served early in our career. Much like parenting scripts, we tend to believe what we hear from our bosses as we launch out in our first few jobs.

So our mistake-tolerance is fairly well established in the early steps along our career path.

In growing healthy organizations, effective leaders establish a culture that encourages trial and error. If we want our teams to be creative, we cannot discourage the fruit of a creative thought. Apparent mistakes may eventually prove to be long-term winners.

We must avoid the mortification of mistakes. I know I've questioned myself a few hundred times along the way, but I've tried not to beat myself up for more than a short pity party.

I've learned to expect mistakes. I don't ever like a mistake, but I know that blunders and brilliance are kissing cousins.

If you wish to create an accepting environment, I offer one simple suggestion:

Be consistent.

It only takes one "How could you have missed this?" to damage an encouraging culture. No mean faces or snarls. No mocking the mistake to others on the team.

Acceptance of error must be accompanied by teaching moments. If we are to learn from our mistakes, then a teacher must spend time to review the error process. We can always learn from an autopsy.

There is now, therefore, no condemnation.

"When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?' She said, 'No one, Lord.' Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more'" (John 8:10-11).

 


 

Platform Tip No. 45

If you want to know the best time to post your message on social media, watch the platform to see when your followers are active.

Timing is not intuitive.

Assume that your audience doesn't behave in the same manner as another writer's audience behaves.

Birds of a feather do flock together.

 


 

Do you want to learn more about developing your personal platform?

Send for my free series of lessons titled, "The Fundamentals of Creating, Curating and Developing Content for Multiple Platforms." Send your request to: platform@ministrytodaymag.com.

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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.


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