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TOPIC: The Power of Admitting Error

The Power of Admitting Error 09 Feb 2013 10:20 #9104

Does anyone else here see how freaking wonderful it is to be able to admit that you're wrong? Admit your mistakes? Say stuff like, "I messed up really bad and I have no excuses?"

This is the one of the most liberating things there is.

I watch the folks I work with fight admitting error and I see them in a whole lot of pain as a result. That pain does not have to occur. All they have to do is admit they goofed. No pain! But they're protecting that will o' the wisp self, so, yeah, they just can't do it.
Last Edit: 09 Feb 2013 10:27 by Chris Marti.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 09 Feb 2013 11:19 #9107

For sure. Maybe it's all about honesty. Honesty is very liberating, when you can finally just drop the BS and be honest with others and yourself.

It has been liberating lately for realizing that its ok for me to be vulnerable. To stop trying to be Mr. Tough Guy and admit when I need help or am just not feeling well.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 09 Feb 2013 11:55 #9108

If I imagine myself in the position of having "messed up really bad"-- particularly in the workplace-- I know that the self-image component is the least of my concerns. The greatest concern is that we live in a culture where mistakes must be punished; blame must be assigned. This is something I have spent my tenure at my last job addressing with great frequency; it gives me a tiny thrill every time one of my co-workers voices my mantra: "assigning blame does not fix problems."

There are the internal, and the interpersonal, levels of liberation possible: I can be liberated from having to be Ms. Always-Right in my own or anyone else's eyes. And the social unit can be liberated into greater intimacy-- and functionality! Because solving problems together works so much better than there having to be a perfect Fearless Leader whose dictates must be obeyed.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 09 Feb 2013 13:03 #9112

"... a perfect Fearless Leader whose dictates must be obeyed."

Kate, I work for one of those, one who is also almost completely un-self aware. That is why the power of admitting error and fault is so nice. It is a sweet, cool drink of water in what is otherwise a bleak, arid desert. Liberating. All the blaming and needing to blame and find fault is in people's heads. Being open empowers everyone to relax a bit and realize that.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 09 Feb 2013 23:14 #9120

I had an important meeting yesterday and mentioned to several contractors about how most guys are into “cover my ass” type of stuff, and how rare some guys are into the “teamwork” concept. I said, "This teamwork concept is going to be big with me, and I'm asking you to care about it! Most people are interested in their own contract and protecting themselves, and in effect, leaving everybody else at the curb."

I continued, "We could get these cabinets in and then my plumber needs to have the line come in a certain way which means you have to move the cabinet a couple of inches, but you could say, well, the cabs are in, and that is that, can’t he just put a squiggle in his line and make it go backwards upon itself and over and around, (with three larger holes in the cabinets) to make it work?”

But, I said, "That is not the way I want to do it." I reiterated that this project is a teamwork project, and our aim is to coordinate things and work together, which is why I will have the plumber here soon, along with the electrician.”

They paused for a few moments, looked down, they seemed to take it in and nodded with no eye contact to me but to each other.

I wondered, what was that long pause about. Was it that no one has articulated this to them before? Is it that they are deciding or choosing to participate in a new way? Or, are they wondering how they are going to get out of this situation with knowing that coordination for them might be inconvenient? Hmm.

It was probably a rapid combination of all of them.

It is hard to admit your wrong when it includes consequences that are clearly costly and painful. My job is to watch closely, listen carefully, check with them and find ways to help them to admit to difficulties as soon as possible.

All the various players are always coming together; we all have a part in that process, and so I watch with care, and will see.
And, having a profound understanding of dependent origination helps to ease the pressure in any one direction.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 10 Feb 2013 13:07 #9136

Since I've been practicing mindfulness & meditation, I've found admitting error easier than not admitting it. In not admitting error and trying to cover-up or blame, I become caught in a complicated situation, a web of lies and finger-pointing. There's so much discomfort that arises as a result.

When I admit error, I acknowledge my imperfections, my ability to make mistakes and to be comfortable with that. It's out in the open, no complications. Then, it just becomes a matter of moving forward, learning from the error, and making resolutions to be more skillful.

Just communicating with sincerity seems to relieve the tension in many situations.
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Re: The Power of Admitting Error 10 Feb 2013 19:47 #9143

About four years ago, I changed jobs to the company I'm at now. The previous job was toxic: admission of error was shameful, butt-covering was rampant, inter-department cooperation was negligible and typically required some manager to authorize it, and the paperwork to get the simplest thing done was astounding.

I'm incredibly grateful to be at my current company. We're a software company, been in the business 25 years now. We do a lot of experimentation, and having the freedom to make mistakes is absolutely the best way to figure out if something works or not. We have a lot of leeway to get stuff done in a way that pleases our customers. We often say that a project is a failure only if we didn't learn something from it.

This attitude is as just as contagious as the previous one and conditions future actions just as thoroughly.
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