Saturday, 29 September 2012

Flaws and Feedbacks

Nobody is perfect. Nobody is identical to others. Everyone has their own style of work and that is the reason we accord a huge importance to people management. It therefore is of utmost importance that people need to be coached to mend their own modus operandi  to suit that of the organisation. We have frequent refresher training for people to ensure they do not deviate the fine line of the periphery of organisational behaviour. Yet we have issues with people making mistakes due to myriad of reasons, primarily due to misunderstanding of the expectations and slackness.

The organisation (stake holders) reacts to such situation through feedbacks, coaching, training, improvement plans etc.  The mechanism of reactions to mistakes is pretty well defined. There are some key elements to be discussed, viz.

      • What went wrong?
      • Why it went wrong?
      • What are the impacts?
      • What are the corrective steps?
      • How to implement the corrective measures?
While all these points have been addressed and discussed, we still have issues cropping up and the feedback mechanism is repetitively put to task. It is okay to make mistakes as life is a trial and error process. We cannot expect everybody to learn from others' early mistakes in all cases.  It is human to err and it is management to take all on board ensuring the overall picture is green.

It is better to have people talk about our mistakes than writing us off

We have a lot of ideas like Kaizen, 6Sigma, Process Improvement, Poka Yoke etc to make the process of work mistake free. These are excellent tools. But there is a problem that still affects the process from a different angle. Process fixes work when humans are cautious about the work and it is  due to a flaw in the flow the mistakes take place. Mistake proofing of the process doesn't work when slackness takes over the humans involved in the work.

It is the attitude of some of us to get into denial mode at once or later when a mistake/error is found. Some of us wish to have people who 'adjust' with all the inconveniences of the mistake/error and not even to give a feedback.

Repetition of mistakes of the same kind leaves some of the stake holders miffed and react in a tough manner. The language of the feedback becomes stern and the tenor of their talk speaks volumes about the impact of the repetitive mistakes. But the people who have not developed the attitude of being open to feedback and correction, immediately start their well rehearsed reaction of going into denial mode. They deny the mistake as caused by some thing else and refuse to see the opportunity they had to avoid the mistake.

Having spent some years in the Corporate world, I can surely conclude that the only domain with an undying demand forever is the soft skills training. We need to educate people on how to handle errors/mistakes which is part of the job. We also need to go some extra miles in educating people on reacting to feedbacks in a positive way and put forth their thoughts and suggestions in a manner that relates only to the problems being discussed and not blaming the people who have found the mistakes and those give feedbacks.

It is to be understood that when people start talking to someone about their mistake, they are expecting to correct the mistake and prevent it from happening again. It is the denial mode and blaming them back for pointing out the mistake and the 'other-fingers-point-to -you' rhetoric that makes the working together unpalatable. Shooting the messengers won't turn the bad news around nor will it help in keeping  everything good in life.

1 comment:

roses said...

Brilliant stuff!