how to learn from mistakes

On Mistakes, and the Benefit of Learning from Them

By Public Relations


If you can’t admit you’ve made them, you don’t belong here. I’ve made a lot of them; some of them real doozies.  I’ve come  to appreciate the benefit of mistakes; that for every one I’ve made, even the ones that harbor deep regret, I’ve learned, and become better for the experience.

A while ago I watched this video and became captivated by Kathryn Schultz’s topic: read Why Being Wrong is Good for You. I think this is the kind of lesson we all need now and again; and even if we already know it, is worth the regular reminder.

Communications — the industry in which I work — would not exist if it weren’t for mistakes — misunderstandings, missteps (intentional or not) by corporations necessitating public relations strategy, major snafus discovered and shared by media and social media that can make or break a brand’s reputation. I should be grateful for mistakes! Much of what I do centers on keeping clients from making them, or helping clean them up when they occur.

James Dyson, famed innovator and vacuum cleaner mogul shares his story of the 5,000 mistakes he made before creating the Dyson vacuum that took his name to the top of the industry.

If you’re brave enough, tell me in the comments about a mistake you’ve made, and learned from.

While you eat your lunch today, (come on, I know you’ll be at your desk munching on a sandwich), watch the following 10 minute video. Diana Laufenberg teaches us how we learn from mistakes, and why it’s important.