A Great Team Means Freedom to Make Mistakes

What was the last really big gaff you made?  At the time you likely wanted to fall through the floor; but I’m willing to bet that with some reflection you’re a better employee or business owner because of it.

ppllluuuuh – that was a bad idea!

One of the greatest compliments I receive from our clients is when they ask me to help hire one of their in-house team members (or try to steal mine away) because they can see what an awesome group of people work here and figure I must have the secret to some special sauce.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is no secret.  I have my systems that allow me to hire for fit and test for skill; as do most people.  And, I’ve struggled in the past with finding the right people; I am intimately familiar with the struggle of looking for your superstar.

So, here’s the special sauce as far as I see it.  Let people fail and feel safe.  From the first in-person interview and throughout their employment with It’s Your Time, our team members understand that this is a workplace of integrity with a “yes we can” and a “we can fix it” attitude.  I let my team know that they are valued and look to fill their days in areas of strength rather than struggle.  I get out of their way.  My chorus “figure it out” has become a bit of an office joke but also part of the culture.  When people have the room to figure it out, to make a mistake, to work with their strengths, they have room to try new ideas, experiment and WOW.

If you think you’re workplace could use an injection of failing safely you might want to try an exercise my business coach, Carol Greenaway, shared with me.  She would have a prize each week for the person who shared the best mistake.  This exercise allowed her team to be comfortable with trying new things and learning from them.

I would love to hear what you think your special sauce is for creating a great team!  Leave a comment or shoot me an email.

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