Engagement Training & Development

Ooops! Learning from Our Mistakes

“I’m never wrong. I thought I was once, but I was mistaken.”  -Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts

Lucy’s perfectionism aside (heaven help those who work for people like Lucy!), here are some non-threatening and productive ways to institutionalize learning from our mistakes.

  • Mistake of the Month – Have people share their mistakes & corresponding “lessons learned” at staff meetings.  Then staff vote on which one taught them the most.
  • Favorite Lessons Learned– This is a variation of the above.  Allow time at staff meetings for people to share one or both of the following:
    • “Favorite Mistake Not to be Repeated”
    • “Favorite Catch of Stuff Done Right that We Hope to Do Again”
  • I don’t have a name for this, but I found it on Christopher Hannigan’s blog and loved it.  CarMax CEO Austin Ligon uses this as a meeting opener: “What are we doing that is stupid, unnecessary or doesn’t make sense?”  What a great way to break the ice on an uncomfortable topic.

Let’s face it, no one is perfect (not even Lucy).  So we need to find ways to collectively share in the learning from our mistakes to avoid making them again.

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