Lift Up! 

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.