Leadership training can teach the value of mistakes24 Sep 2015
“Mistakes are the portals to discovery”.
That quote is from the mind of James Joyce, author of challenging novels such as “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake”. It’s worth keeping in mind for people training for leadership positions.
After all, no matter how dependable your leadership skills are, sooner or later something won’t go according to plan. It’s unfortunate, but these things happen. A good leader knows how make the most out of the situation.
In fact, recent research has lent scientific data to the value of learning from mistakes. This could shape the way our future leaders operate.
How can you learn from mistakes?
Whether you’re preparing for your first leadership role or refreshing your skill sets, you’ll know the pressure that yourself and your team is put under. Naturally, this can then lead to mistakes, but what’s the best way to react when things go wrong?
According to the University of Southern California, the brain knows when to learn from mistakes.
A study produced by the University of Southern California investigated this issue, which could set a precedent for future communication skills training.
A group of researchers from the university discovered that failure can be a rewarding experience. This occurs when the brain is able to learn from the event. According to Associate Professor of Economics and Psychology Giorgio Coricelli, these events can trigger the reward-based learning mechanism in the brain.
“We show that, in certain circumstances, when we get enough information to contextualise the choices, then our brain essentially reaches towards the reinforcement mechanism, instead of turning toward avoidance,” he explained.
What can you do to become a better leader?
Aside from learning how to see the positives in their mistakes, there are number of other ways budding leaders can make the most out of leadership training.
The reason it’s so important to be prepared to manage mistakes is because of risk. Without it, businesses can’t grow or innovate, and are stuck doing the same things over and over again.
According to Deloitte’s Directors’ Cut survey, current leaders are satisfied with this aspect of business operations. The firm found that 89 per cent of board members and CEOs are comfortable in their approach to business risk, meaning other others need to be confident in their abilities as well.
Developing these skills gives people the opportunity to lead by example. An Ernst & Young survey found that some senior management professionals are struggling to communicate ethical information to the rest of their staff.
Ultimately, people looking to develop their leadership skills should commit to leadership training programs to ensure they get the best of themselves and those they lead.