I’ve seen this time and time again – leaders who still think they need to “crack the whip” when mistakes are made so employees take them seriously and avoid future mistakes at all costs. It might work in terms of getting them to triple-check every email they send and spreadsheet they create, but remember – they’re doing so out of fear, not respect, and fear only buys disengagement, never loyalty.
Our primal instincts are at play here. When things get tense, our brains go into survival mode. So, don’t expect your colleagues to be creative or innovative when they’re busy protecting themselves from perceived threats, AKA you in this instance!
On the flip side, when psychological safety reigns, creativity, productivity, and innovation can thrive. Teams have the space to embrace mistakes and see them as stepping stones to success. A growth mindset propels them forward. And guess what, they will proactively tell you when they have made a mistake!
So, remember to create a workplace that’s more than just a straightjacket. Encourage open dialogue, value diverse perspectives, and let mistakes be the path to growth and success.