Friday, February 15, 2013


How do you handle your mistakes? Do you overreact, try to hide them, or continue exhibiting behaviors that have proven unproductive? According to Paul Schemaker, research director for the Mack Centre for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and co-author of the book Brilliant Mistakes, most people tend to overreact when they make an error, which in some cases can be both dangerous and expensive. Making mistakes is simply validation that you are human. Naturally, the preferred types of mistakes are those where the costs are low and the learning is high. When you make a mistake, own your part in the error and apologize for that. Avoid blaming, defensiveness, over-apologizing, taking responsibility for what wasn't your contribution, becoming mired in self-flagellation, and so on. Take a few moments to reflect on what set up the mistake, make restitution when possible, and identify what you can do another time to avoid a similar mistake. Then move on. Remember, learning from your mistakes is a choice.

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