You all know the phrase: “Adversity is the school of wisdom”. That means we have to do errors to learn and getting better. But in daily business I often see a really bad error culture which does not accept any mistakes. So, that kind of error culture does hinder the employee’s development.
Of course you may not have a chance to change the error culture of you company, but within your project team you have the chance to improve the working conditions by allowing and maybe reward failures. This might not be easy and often requires a big amount of self-control. So, the next time your team does an error, stay cool and relax. Do not criticize or censure your team and do not try to correct the error. Allow erroneous actions and you will see your team will self-recognize the mistake and your team will find a solution for the error.
Often it is not easy to stay cool in such situations. But you and your team will get big rewards. The self-organization of the team will grow and the solidarity between the colleagues will grow. People which have together solved a problem will stay closer together in the future. Furthermore the problem solution is found and accepted by the team and therefore all necessary actions will be executed without any resistance. Last but not least you should also reward your team for the found solution to motivate for further improvements.
As a team leader you cannot solve any of the team problems. Moreover, you cannot always be available. So your team has to learn to see and solve problems. Therefore you can see a “failure” as an investment into your team development. You have to pay with the failure and the time to fix it but you get something back. But of course the investment should not be larger than the benefit. You always have to respect the risk of the failure and maybe sometimes if the risk and the impacts of a mistake are very large you have to solve the issue on your own or best together with your team.