We are all humans and in that respect we are all the same.
Of course there are many differences between us but some things are fundamental
and affect all of us. We love to think that we are intelligent. We are masters
of the universe. We have created great art, we have created spectacles of
construction, we have created electronic devices of amazing complexity and we
have gone to the moon and back. Religion, philosophy etc, etc. We think we know
a lot of stuff. And while our brains, can do some pretty amazing things, like
anything else, like any tool, it has its weaknesses. Being human means we don’t
like to think about those weaknesses in our own brains. We (or rather our
brains) prefer to ignore those weaknesses and instead concentrate on feeling
Psychology tells us different. Psychology allows us to
expose and understand these weaknesses, for until we expose and understand
those weaknesses we will forever be ruled by them.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
- Alexander Pope
Understanding and then accepting that we are a flawed
species in our thinking and in our perceptions allows us to do something about
those things. Those things are problems and the first step in solving any
problem is to admit that it exists.
Before an alcoholic can be “saved” they must first take the
most important first step and admit they are an alcoholic.
We must accept that we will make mistakes. Many many
mistakes. All of us. The number of mistakes people make is not proportional to
a person’s standing or seniority within an Enterprise. The CEO is liable to
make the same number of mistakes as the person who cleans the toilets. What is
proportional is the amount of damage that a mistake that goes uncorrected can
have (in general). We must therefore accept that mistakes will happen and
create an environment that allows us all to
expose and correct those mistakes without resorting to blame. The people in
your Enterprise that make mistakes and correct them (including you) are your
best employees. Those that make mistakes and hide them can destroy your
Enterprise. “Backtracking” or performing a “U-turn” should not be met with
scorn, vilification and condemnation but instead with thanks and praise.
Those that do not make mistakes are lying.