I find some expressions more than a little odd. This story is about one that says, ” Don’t kick someone when they are down.” Why would you kick someone at all? Regardless, sometimes people feel like they are being kicked and feel that they are down.
When I think about this, I am reminded of more than one time that someone made a mistake. I have learned that most of the time, the person already knows the error was made. They may be wondering a lot of things…
- I hope I don’t get caught…
- I hope nothing wrong comes from my mistake!
- How can I talk my way out of this?
- What will my boss (friend, spouse, etc) think when they find out?
- What was I thinking?
Suppose you are the one who has observed the mistake. What are you thinking?
- Oh boy, not again.
- I wish that person would follow directions.
- Now, what am I going to do?
- I wonder what my boss(friend, spouse, etc) will think if they find out
- What was that person thinking?
There are many opportunities to adopt a healthy and hopeful approach, and there are many opportunities to kick someone when they are down. I guarantee that the healthy and hopeful approach will always be the better choice. Kicking never solves a problem and is guaranteed to cause more pain than a mistake.
No one is perfect. You can expect to make a mistake and that others around you will do the same thing. If you still need to create a strategy and find your thoughts full of those sentences I just listed, here are some replacements.
If you made the mistake:
- I think there was a better way to ____________
- What do I need to do now?
- Who needs to know, and what can I suggest following steps?
- Is there someone who needs to know?
- Do I need to apologize and take action?
If your staff member makes a mistake:
- I need to ask some questions. What happened? What was going on?
- Did this person have the training to do the task?
- Was this person confident in the task?
- What is the person’s take on what happened?
Once you understand the bigger picture, you can work together to plan and avoid future problems.
Being prepared can prevent a new mistake. Let’s all practice good coaching habits and focus on improving our performance, not kicking someone down.