Is perfection an option

Being perfect is something that ALOT of people strive for and in certain situations and professions it’s kind of important.  As I sit on my couch and watch a season of Air Disasters, I realize that being a pilot means you really need to be perfect at your job, however here’s a news flash, YOU AREN’T PERFECT!

Yup I know this is a huge announcement – you aren’t perfect, let that sink in!  Can you strive to be better, sure! Can you strive to improve of course, but you will never be perfect, you see we simply aren’t.  Human’s have flaws, lots of them!  When we expect perfection from those around us we set them AND us up to fail.  Asking your team to never make a mistake and simply accepting no less isn’t going to happen!

Now if you are a doctor, you really want to be as close as possible which is why check lists are SO important and that’s a post for another day! However learning to accept our team’s imperfections actually makes us better leaders.

I was training Keno yesterday and we are learning to communicate with each other.  We both make mistakes, he makes them because he’s a horse and misreading my cues and I make them because I am still learning!

What would it look like for you to review your teams mistakes as learning opportunities or process improvements?  Now some mistakes are simply that, someone forgot to check a box or read the check list and of course the scenarios of performance issues.  However, if we take a step away from the performance problems, is there a problem with our process?  Are we training the wrong way?  As organizations we must review mistakes as just that a mistake, and remove the stigma of it being made.

Once we take it out of the discipline area and we start to review the WHY we can start to slow the mistakes down.  Looking at mistakes as learning opportunities allows everyone to learn from them.

Today take a moment when a team member makes a mistake and ask yourself why did the mistake get made? Are other team members having similar issues? Do you need to provide training, a check list or is there another reason.  Take the person out of it and see what you can find!

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