When mistakes are allowed, there will be fewer of them

When mistakes are allowed, there will be fewer of them | practice | Better to give than receive? With trust, both matter
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December 1, 2023
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Leading the Way
When mistakes are allowed, there will be fewer of them
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Nobody likes to make mistakes, but leaders who allow for them can create a culture that builds connection, trust, risk-taking and, ironically, fewer mistakes, writes author and leadership expert Mike Robbins. A key component to giving your team permission to make mistakes is knowing they'll be forgiven so they can focus on learning valuable lessons from what went wrong, Robbins notes.
Full Story: Mike Robbins (11/28) 
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Put it into practice: Forgiveness of mistakes is a huge trust builder for your team, but leaders must also forgive themselves for their mistakes so they can learn and grow from them, Robbins notes. "[I]f we can remember that most of the time we're doing the best we can (as are others), we can hopefully get off our own backs and allow ourselves to be human (which means we aren't perfect, nor is anyone else)."
 
SmartBrief on Leadership
Better to give than receive? With trust, both matter
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Making frequent, character-building deposits into your trust account with your boss or your team helps ensure any unfortunate behavioral blips have minimal impact in the workplace, SmartBrief Senior Leadership Editor Candace Chellew writes. Chellew explains what trust deposits look like as both a leader and an employee, and suggests ways to ensure you and your team are on strong footing with one another.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (11/30) 
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Put it into practice: Leaders can open a trust account with transparency, defined expectations and honest communication, as well as sticking to commitments and promises, Chellew writes. Leaders also can recognize great work, treat team members fairly and collaborate on improvements.
Smarter Communication
Great meetings require meaningful engagement, actionable outcomes and the fostering of diversity and inclusiveness -- and generative AI soon will be able to help us achieve these things, suggests Dash Bibhudatta, the founder of Infinite Possibilities. Bibhudatta envisions more effective communication and meetings if videoconferencing systems are enhanced with personalized content tailored to learning styles, purpose alignment, bias detection and collective and individual improvement.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (11/29) 
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Put it into practice: AI could beef up meeting participants' knowledge by adding definitions and resources into each person's chat window and by offering a highlights roundup at the end. AI could serve as a facilitator to ensure a meeting stays within its parameters, and it also can rein in any bias. Individuals and teams could seek feedback on their meeting performance from an AI bot to help them improve, Bibhudatta writes.
Smarter Strategy
Weekend Reading
Why we shouldn't rely on billionaires to save the world
Musk (JERRY LAMPEN/Getty Images)
About a decade ago, there was a movement (that even had consumer advocate Ralph Nader's blessing) to look to billionaires such as Elon Musk to solve the world's most pressing problems. But as Ivey Business School assistant professor Lucas Monzani and management consultant Thomas Watson write in this long read, the scheme overlooked the hubris of such leaders, the adverse effects of which we're just starting to realize. "In other words, billionaires often have superhero-sized egos that cloud their judgment," they write. They suggest a better way.
Full Story: Ivey Business Journal (11/2023) 
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Daily Diversion
Go Koutaki, an engineering professor at Japan's Kumamoto University, has created a system that allows musicians with disabilities to play guitar using just one hand and one foot, and says he's developing other inventions for those wishing to play saxophone or the flute. A man who lost an arm in an accident used Koutaki's guitar-playing invention recently, telling the professor, "I'm able to play for the first time in a year."
Full Story: The Mainichi (Japan) (11/28) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus. What was her occupation at the time?
VoteMaid
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
The ability to make mistakes and the forgiveness that comes in the aftermath are great tools leaders can use to build trust. If errors (even small ones) are viewed as unforgivable in your workplace, your team members are less apt to take risks and develop new ideas and processes.

Mike Robbins outlines how to build a mistake-embracing and forgiving culture. I also show how overdrawing on that trust account with your boss and co-workers can lead to team members opening trust accounts elsewhere.

How do you build trust with your team? Tell me about it.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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