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close this bookHundred Tips for a Better Management (Aga Khan Foundation, 1993, 70 p.)
close this folderCriticising performance
View the document83. Don't be afraid to offend; just don't be offensive in your approach69
View the document84. Take care of mistakes when they are small; do not allow them to grow, they will get more complicated
View the document85. How to handle anger70
View the document86. How to manage conflict71

84. Take care of mistakes when they are small; do not allow them to grow, they will get more complicated

Everyone makes mistakes. Depending on how a manager deals with mistakes, they can contribute to learning and building of responsibility, or they can serve to reinforce failure and negative attitudes. Help people identify the factors that contributed to the error, the possible repercussions and the best way to proceed.

A man who has made a mistake and doesn't correct it is making another mistake. (Confucius)

Try to respond to mistakes soon after they are identified. Correct mistakes when they are small to prevent them from becoming more serious in the future. Point out to the party involved that:

  • A mistake was made/exists


  • How it arose/what made it happen


  • How to learn from it; how to cope with it differently if it arises again so as not to repeat it.


  • How to fix it, address the consequences.


  • Ignoring a mistake allows it to grow or fester into something harmful and difficult to correct. Even if it seems trivial or not worth the time, make the effort to resolve it.