Aug 18, 2006

What? Who? Why? Who?

Everyone, from time to time makes mistakes. There is nothing unusual about that statement.

At ePrize (where there are many quotes on the walls) there is a quote similar to this:

*"Don't be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don't make the same mistake twice."*

Boy, the leadership at ePrize is all over that statement. Understandably the work that is done at ePrize is not easy. I'm not about to say it is. So, mistakes happen. A poor decision is made. A deadline missed. Poor execution. Ok, so we're all together now. Mistakes happen and we all want to learn from them. Cool. Moving on.

How quickly can one person feel humiliated?
How much effort does it take to steal another person's confidence?
Exactly how confrontational is TOO confrontational?

I found that anytime a mistake occurred a series of events happened.

  1. What happened?
  2. Who did you tell? (you better be sure someone in leadership knew about this)
  3. Why did this happen? (what did you do!!!)
  4. Who's fault is it? (I want names, and I plan on going to them next)
  5. Go tell all your co-workers what happened, so everyone can learn from it! (nevermind the tears)
  6. Now get back to work! Here are 2 new projects!

Ok, I can hear all the posts now. Let me explain.

I agree with learning from mistakes and sharing them with your co-workers. I do not agree with tearing down someone's confidence. I do not agree with making an 'example' out of people while tearing them down psychologically and emotionally.

I don't expect hugs and pats on the back with every step. In fact I don't want that at all. I don't false compliments from leadership. Give it to me cut and dry.

*This is what is wrong.
**This is how it should be fixed.
Tell me not to do it again.*

But to dwell on mistakes for weeks. Telling employees they are doing a poor job, and still giving them more work? For goodness sakes, if someone is doing a poor job either lighten their workload, so they can catch their breath, or remove them from the system. Don't weigh down your weaker employees with more work! Who is that good for? Not the clients, not the 'team' they are working with. (bring on the comments gang!)

Asking Why is a good tactic sometimes. But not when the 'other' projects you are working on will suffer because of all the added time you have to account for to justify yourself, explain and re-explain yourself, and continually cover your ass with email chains, and documentation.

1 comment:

NoLimits said...

Like OFFICE SPACE, they continue to add the number of bosses around, too. Let's hear it for mid-level managers who you look at and say, "What do they do here?"

"So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired."