“I wanted to let the world know that no one had a perfect life, that even the people who seemed to have it all had their secrets” – Jeannette Walls
So, let’s admit it, no one – not you or me or your boss – is perfect. Even the most responsible and competent individuals can make mistakes and bad decisions. According to Sydney Finkelstein, being a successful leader is not just about intelligence. More than that, being a successful leader requires you to be able to take the right moves at the right time. While people often confuse and relate bad decision with a bad leader, Finkelstein revealed that successful leaders also make bad decisions.
The truth is, bad decisions are not bad after all. It doesn’t make you a bad person, either. Instead, making bad decisions will help you grow as a person as it could lead you to gain more experience, wisdom, and even sympathy when you witness others falling into the same holes. Bad decisions, however, will not turn itself to be your advantage unless you take further action towards it. Bad decisions will only be beneficial if you follow these three simple steps.
Be honest to yourself that you make a bad decision. A study by Taly Reich found that correcting an error requires a great change to a status quo. It also requires greater effort to admit to ourselves or other people about the mistake. Thusly, people tend to associate great effort with a greater commitment to goals, and so a higher likelihood of achieving them.
From the study, we could learn that admitting our bad decision helps us grow better as a person. People will see you as a responsible person as well. In addition, being honest with yourself also helps you take a better decision in the future. As you have known how it feels like to be in a situation caused by a bad decision, unconsciously you will feel like ‘you are not doing it right and you need to find a better way to do it right.’ As a result, you will develop a greater effort to commit to choosing a better decision in order to achieve your goals.
The personal benefit you can gain from your bad decision is if you don’t let that mistake stop you, it helps you grow.
Learn from your bad decision. Let’s learn from Thomas Edison. He went through a thousand mistakes before finding the right way to create one light bulb that actually works. In this regard, you should not let bad decisions stop you. If you feel that something is wrong, take a moment to discover what’s right and make a previous bad decision as your guide to create a better decision.
Every experience shows you how (or how not) to be awesome. Learn from them. – Colter Reed
Take responsibility, find the core mistake of your bad decision, and create a solution. Admitting a mistake will make you realise what action needs to be taken. Therefore, you need to emphasise the first-time nature of your mistake – make it clear that the mistake was not caused by some fixed and stable trait but something correctable or faulty operation, said Reich. Foreground the part that your mistakes are correctable and that you can fix it as your mind defines what you are capable of. Hereinafter, you should find a solution to address the root cause so it won’t occur again. Then, demonstrate the effort you’ve invested in correcting it.