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How to Handle Team Mistakes (no screaming or hair pulling necessary)

In this video I’ll cover:

  • The most common reasons team members make mistakes
  • How to accurately assess the situation so you can move forward
  • How to empower your team members so they can be successful in all tasks

Watch the video:

Click here to ask Melissa a question.

Time Freedom Video Transcript – How to Handle Team Mistakes

(Click here to download a copy of the transcript of this video)

 

Hey, it’s Melissa Ingold from TimeFreedomBusiness.com and I’m back to answer another reader question.

This question comes from Charlie and he says,

“I was would love to outsource more, but the people I’ve worked with in the past have said I’m too demanding and unforgiving. I know I’m hard to work with, especially when someone is new and they’re still learning the ins and the outs of the business. How can I be a better manager while still making sure they’re getting the training they need?”

What I want you to do is to remember that the people that you work with, that work with you, are only human. Mistakes are going to be made, so you have to kind of expect that, especially in the beginning when people are coming on board and they are really starting to learn your business.

Let me tell you, even if you find the best, most experienced, most skilled virtual assistant, you’re still going to have to train them in your business. Because your business is not going to be the same as other businesses that they’ve worked with. There is always going to be a little bit of training required, no matter how skilled the VA is and mistakes are going to happen.

The good news is that your team will learn from those mistakes. I’m going to give you some tips about handling things that may come up that will make you a better manager and that is to really keep your emotions in check. If something happens, they make a mistake, yes, it can be frustrating. It can annoy the hell out of you, but you have to keep your emotions in check.

Keeping Your Emotions in Check

You cannot make rash judgments. You cannot say things in anger, because a lot of times those things will come back to bite you in the butt and you will regret it. You can lose really incredible people that way. You just have to keep your emotions in check. Sometimes things are going to slip out, but really try to stay neutral and just take the time to assess the situation.

That’s actually a second thing. You are going to want to make sure that you are really looking at the situation from all sides. From your side, looking at it, “What did I do? What could I have done? What slipped through the crack?” Maybe you got angry over a mistake for something when really when you looked back over the communication, you realize that, “Crap, I didn’t even tell her to do that.”

Be Careful About Placing Blame

You are thinking that she made the mistake, she didn’t do what she was asked when really, it was your fault. You were the one that kind of let things slip and you didn’t tell her to specifically do that. That is why you have to keep your emotions neutral and really take the time to step back. Give yourself the space to assess the situation. And of course, you want to get her side of things.

Maybe there was an emergency that came up. Maybe there was a death in the family, maybe there was an illness. Things do happen. Maybe she’s had all this extra stress and so she was making little mistakes here and there. Find out what’s going on. Ask them first.

If they’re ignoring your questions and they’re not communicating with you, then I think I would be a little bit concerned that things are falling through the cracks and there is no real excuse for them. Make sure you look at their side of the situation, as well.

Finding the Root Cause

I want you to look for the good in it, especially if you’ve been with someone for a little while. They’ve been wonderful and then all of the sudden, weird little things start happening. Something is obviously going on. Again, don’t be quick to judge or say things you’re going to regret later and lose that really great person.

You want to look for the good and have their back in the situation and know that, “Hey, this person has been really great to me, they’ve done amazing work. They’ve always met deadlines. I know that what they’re doing is not on purpose. Maybe I slipped up in training. Maybe there is something going on in their personal life that they haven’t had a chance to tell me about or explain.”

Always have your employee’s back in a situation, not employee, but your contractor’s back in a situation like this.

Discussing Your Concerns

Of course, you’re going to want to discuss any concerns with them in a private environment. If you have a big team and if your team is all connected, you’re not going to want to say things or address this situation in front of everyone. That’s just not cool. You have to discuss it privately so just find a space to do that.

Once you’ve assessed the situation and you’ve figured out what’s really going on, look for ways that it can be fixed, that it can be made right, whether by your contractor, your VA, or whether you bring someone on. There are times where maybe you assigned a specific task to your team member and she attempts to do it, but she’s really not that skilled at it. It’s just not her strong point.

Instead of getting angry, maybe firing her, again, it’s assessing that situation. Find out what’s going on. Maybe she’s going to say, “You know what? I have never been really good at that. I try, I tried to do it for you because I really love you as a client and I want to do my best, but it’s really not my area of expertise.”

Know (And Work With) Her Strengths

Maybe it’s time to find someone who does specialize in that. Maybe it was something techy and she tried, but she just couldn’t get it done. The mistakes were made or she just didn’t complete the project because she wasn’t skilled to do that. You have to go and find someone who is skilled in that specific thing, bring them on to do the project, and that would just resolve the whole situation.

Or if it’s something that she can fix, give her the opportunity to address those mistakes, but if she continues to make the same mistakes again and again, obviously something is going on and then you’re going to have to assess the situation at that time and address those issues.

Another thing is, again, mistakes do happen. We’re all human, so you can either make a huge deal out of it or you can just let it slide. You can maybe just say, “I asked her to format that document, but I kind of need it now. I don’t have time for that.”

You could just quickly format the document yourself. Send her a note about it and just let it go. Don’t make a big fuss or deal out of it or spend all kinds of time trying analyze it all, making it a bigger deal than it really is. It’s really up to you to decide what’s a big deal and what’s not.

Calmly Assess Each Situation

The key takeaways from this is that you want to keep your feelings neutral. You don’t want to allow your emotions to rule the situation, because that can bite you in the butt. You could really regret allowing your emotions to take over and lead the situation.

You also want to assess the situation from all sides and make sure that you know what’s going on with them. You look at what you’ve been doing and where maybe the responsibility is actually on your shoulders for this one.

You always want to look at your contractor from the best kind of angle that you can. You don’t want to immediately judge them. You want to have their back on it. “Hey, this isn’t like you. What’s going on here? I know that you don’t normally drop the ball on things like this,” and you can address those.

Of course, you have to come up with a solution and answer or you can just say, “You know what? It’s not a big deal. I’m just going to let this slide,” instead of just making it into this huge stressful hassle of a deal. Again, that can mean you losing someone really great.

I hope those suggestions help with this when it comes to handling mistakes by team. Again, you’re definitely going to want to have training and systems in place, as always. I always recommend that, but you have to be forgiving. You have to go with the flow, don’t let it stress you out so much. Keep your emotions in check, assess everything, and decide whether you’re going to come up with how the situation can be resolved or fixed or just let it slide. It’s completely up to you.

If you love this video, you want to leave a comment or some feedback, I would love to connect with you over on Facebook. If you go to Facebook.com/timefreedombusiness, I will see you over there. If you would like me to answer your question about outsourcing, delegating, team, time freedom, click the link below this video and you will be taken to a form where you can send us in your question and maybe I will answer your question on an upcoming video.

Again, I love to hear your comments right here on the wall. I just want to thank you so much for your time and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

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