Thursday, 19 May 2016
Here is a story that I found while reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends & influence people”. It is about how important it is to uphold self-esteem of people, even if they have made a mistake.
Ms. Mazzone, a marketing specialist for a food packer, was given her first major assignment – the test-marketing of a new product.
In her words: “when the results of the test came in, I was devastated. I had made a serious error in my planning, and the entire test had to be done all over again. To make this worse, I had no time to discuss it with my boss before the meeting in which I was to make my report on the project.
When I was called on to give the report, I was shaking with fright. I had all I could do to keep from breaking down, but I resolved I would not cry... I made my report briefly and stated that due to an error I would repeat the study before the next meeting. I sat down, expecting my boss to blow up.
Instead, he thanked me for my work and remarked that it was not unusual for a person to make an error on a new project and that he had confidence that the repeat survey would be accurate and meaningful to the company. He assured me, in front of all my colleagues, that he had faith in me and knew I had done my best, and that my lack of experience, not my lack of ability, was the reason for the failure.
When a person makes a mistake we have a choice between pointing at the mistake or the person. I feel that the way we handle someone’s mistake can define the quality of our relationship with them.