Real Bosses Accept Mistakes: 8 Business To Do's

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Text comes from: Die Macht der versteckten Signale: Wortwahl - Körpersprache - Emotionen. Nonverbale Widerstände erkennen und überwinden (2014) from Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka, Gabriele Schranz, published by Linde Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Many Company still have some catching up to do in terms of error culture and values. 8 To Do's that a company should take to heart on the path to a positive error culture.


Here writes for you:


Gabriele Schranz SchranzGabriele Schranz is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich.


Here writes for you:


Dr. Gabriele Cerwinka cerwinkaDr. Gabriele Cerwinka is a shareholder of Schranz and Cerwinka OEG.


From the author:




Pent-up demand in Company

Quite a few companies want to go the way of a more positive culture of error, but do not know where to start.

These are the guidelines for our instructions. Please consider the following points as a kind of checklist to determine what areas of your company still need to catch up.

Fault culture goes to everyone

The fault is not that an error happens, but above all in the fact that it has not been reported or prevented by timely action.

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Fault culture affects everyone, everyone is required, everyone is vigilant and assumes responsibility. Thus, the company educates mature employees, for the entrepreneurial thinking, follow-up of habitual processes and waking action become self-evident.

to save time

If errors are recognized in good time, they can usually be "defused" in less time. If an error has occurred, time-consuming and mostly fruitless discussions are eliminated, because the further procedure is standardized.

As long as debts are debated, solutions can not be sought. Valuable time elapses. Causes of causes remain important and necessary, but the time-consuming search for guilt no longer applies.

Way with the security documentation

The time required to design your own defense strategy is also eliminated. A culture of error also prevents the time-consuming “security documentation”:

Employees spend a lot of time to document all stages, interim and steps, to collect tons of memos, notes and documents, all of which inflate the filing and should contribute to the future hedge. An efficient culture of mistakes thus saves time for documentation and filing and thus enormous costs.

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8 To Do's for Business

  1. Future perspective: From the previous norm it follows that everyone's gaze is always focused on the future. What can we learn from what happened in the future? This view makes mutual accusations, suspicions and justification strategies useless.
  2. The identity of the discoverer is not important: Regardless of who recognizes and reveals the mistake, it is rated not as weakness of the causer, but as an opportunity for improvement, especially the first time. Ideally, the error message is anonymous. Where this is not possible, the identity of the polluter is not considered important.
  3. Analyse: In order to learn from the events, mistakes are critically reflected and analyzed - without blaming! It is therefore also important to uncover and analyze “fast errors” because only they provide insights into possible future errors. It is about finding the “weakest link in the chain”.
  4. Communication: It is always communicated openly, transparently and comprehensibly. Mutual appreciation and constructive interaction with each other form the basis of internal communication between employees of all hierarchy levels. The communication is comprehensible to all, there are no collusion agreements and behind-the-back accusations.
  5. Talk about: Mistakes are not hushed up, tabooed and sanctioned. If mistakes or processes that almost led to a mistake are openly discussed by all parties involved, finding a solution is easier. It is not considered a taboo topic, openness is important. Sanctions are only for grossly negligent and intentional offenses.
  6. No hiding: For the required culture of error acceptance, it is essential not to sweep even small errors under the carpet. For employees, it is not about being “good” or “bad”. Therefore, no employee wishes to cover up mistakes. Everyone takes responsibility for their actions.
  7. Change of perspective: Normally the polluters are publicly branded, it is different here. It is not the making of mistakes but the blinding of mistakes that is sanctioned! Anyone who does not report a small mistake, which he has demonstrably noticed, commits an action that leads to consequences.
  8. Fault: Grossly negligent and intentional action is treated differently than unavoidable, unforeseeable errors. A positive culture of mistakes does not mean a license for careless action.


The more positive handling of errors can only be done step by step in companies. Checklists and to-do lists like these can help you to implement the right values ​​step by step.

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