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Employees and Meaningful Mistakes
Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Employees and Meaningful Mistakes

When we feel responsible for an organization, and we're confronted with the consequences of a mistake of an employee, we are quick to react with judgment and condemnation. After all, leaders are not immune from being wrong.

Peter Bregman, author of Leading with Emotional Courage (Wiley 2018), describes just such a scenario, and how it reinforces the mistake (and defensiveness). When you confront an employee with a past-focused question, such as, "What were you thinking?" they become defensive, and in the retelling of the events, the mistake is embedded in the emotional center of the brain.

Instead, great leaders focus on the future. They ask the employee about what they will do differently in the future. Asking future focused questions has numerous benefits:

  • It allows the employee to acknowledge the mistake as well as the lesson learned.
  • It allows the leader to guide the employee to identify any other potential flaws in their pattern of thinking.
  • It builds trust: in the employee's and leader's competence.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Maynard Brusman
Title: Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Group: Working Resources
Dateline: San Francisco, CA United States
Direct Phone: 415-546-1252
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