3 reasons to admit you were wrong 


No one likes to admit that they’ve made a mistake. From the small things to the monumental miscalculations, most people see an admission of their mistakes as displaying weakness. Setting aside the pride to admit you were wrong, however out of the comfort zone it might feel, is actually extremely beneficial for your team. 

Leaders who own their mistakes set the tone for the team

Talking openly about your errors will not encourage your team to be careless. Mistakes are natural and there’s nothing wrong with talking about them realistically! Everyone gets it wrong from time to time and your team should feel that they are in a team environment that acknowledges human errors without catastrophising them. 

Those teams who have habits of sweeping mistakes under the rug or trying to pass the buck are basing themselves on dishonesty, breeding a hostile team environment. Teams grounded in honesty, trust and a willingness to learn are those who are moving towards high performance, and it’s leaders who should be setting the example for their whole team.  

Owning mistakes makes you vulnerable 

And that’s a good thing. 

It’s hard to admit you were wrong, it exposes you and makes you feel uncomfortable. To us humans, that doesn’t come naturally but it’s an invaluable thing for you to do for your team. 

The more vulnerable you are as a leader, the more permission you give your team to be vulnerable too. If everyone in your team was too scared to fail, you’d be stuck doing the same thing over and over again for years, or even decades. That might seem like the safe thing to do but eventually, your organisation or your team won’t be growing and moving forwards. Sure, you might not be failing, but are you really succeeding? 

Brene Brown sums it up: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” 

If your team isn’t ready to be vulnerable, it’s likely they’re not ready to be a high-performing team. 

Acknowledging mistakes means learning 

The first step to learning from your mistakes is acknowledging them. If you never admit anything was wrong with the way you approached a decision or a task, you’ll never be open to learning from them.

It’s always important to be analysing decisions and processes, even when they go as planned. Knowing what works, what doesn’t and what might need to be tweaked for the next time around is crucial for developing your team and driving your organisation towards success. 

Don’t be afraid to admit you were wrong this time, and use what you’ve learnt to be even better next time. 

It’s hard to own up to a mistake, misjudgement or failure. No one wants to be seen as weak, of course, but these things aren’t weaknesses. The sooner you and your team come to realise this, the sooner you’ll be a high performing team. Leaders, it’s your responsibility to lead the way in changing this attitude. 

If you’re ready to start creating a culture of vulnerability and trust in your team, People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.