When did you make your most recent mistake?
How did you feel during the first minute you realized you had made it. What words did you tell yourself?
Now, how did you feel after 5 minutes? What words did you tell yourself then?
What about 24 hours later?
By the time we talk about our mistakes in an organization, close circle of friends, or family, we have already set the tone for whether the mistake is a good thing or a bad thing.
With a mindset and environment built around validation, people say “Bad news, I made a mistake.”
Only by surfacing mistakes can the others in an organization stamp them out. (Sometimes we don’t even need others, we can do it to ourselves.)
In a mindset built around exploration, on the other hand, people tend to say, “Good news, I made a mistake.” Only by seeking things that don’t work will the group end up exploring new possibilities for solving problems.
In both situations, people don’t want to speak up, because we’ve learned that mistakes should be hidden. In both situations, though, hiding them is the very worst option.