Improving Leadership, Customer Service, and Communication

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Learn From Mistakes

A mistake is when someone makes a bad decision resulting in a negative outcome. A “mistake” does not include a deliberate act of malice or insubordination.

So when a well-intentioned employee makes a mistake consider the following coaching steps (LEARN acronym):

  • Listen—allow the employee to tell the entire story and express his or her feelings.
  • Evaluate—encourage the employee to self-evaluate the bad decision and coach for future improvement.
  • Agree—come to a mutual understanding about how future similar situations might be handled.
  • Recognize—if the employee took a calculated risk or initiative, be sure to recognize and reinforce those positive behaviors.
  • Notice Need—try to determine what the individual may need to hear from you so he or she can move forward with only a bruised ego and not a destroyed ego.
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