When Leaders Admit Mistakes Part 2

Managers who reflected on a past mistake where they learned a lesson showed more humility than those who didn’t.

A prevention focus sees learning from mistakes as a short-term way to correct failures and avoid punishment.

The relationship between leaders’ learning from mistakes and how much humility they show to their team members was strengthened by a heightened promotion focus.

A real-life study of 85 non-physician managers from medical schools and hospitals in the Midwest showed the importance of a promotion focus.

The study looked at how managers learned from mistakes, how they expressed humility, and how they viewed their teams’ improvement oriented behavior.

Managers who learned from their mistakes and used the learning to improve and grow as leaders were more likely to show humility. They rated their teams as showing better performance and improvement.

When Leaders Admit Mistakes Part 1

There are benefits for those who reflect on and learn from their mistakes, according to a new study.

Researchers found that when leaders took time to reflect on what they learned from their mistakes, they showed more humility, a quality known to make managers more effective.

The study found that teams performed better when their leaders learned from their mistakes.

Humble leaders acknowledge their own limitations and mistakes, appreciate others’ strengths and contributions, and are open to new insights and feedback. When a leader is humble, team members are more likely to share their knowledge and voice their concerns, and increase their improvement oriented behaviors.

In one of the four studies, the researchers recruited 454 managers who worked in a wide variety of industries, including finance, retail, manufacturing and health care, to participate in the online research.Trained graduate students who weren’t involved in the study rated the managers’ responses for how much. They rated the managers on how much they acknowledged that others had more knowledge and skill than them.