13 Questions to Ask When You've Made a BIG Mistake

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I personally believe there are NO mistakes - only opportunities to learn. However, after almost 30 years in business I know some mistakes can be costly financially and emotionally. The more important aspect of making a supposed mistake, is how you pick yourself up afterwards. So these questions are designed to help you work through what went wrong; why; and how you can move forward minus any baggage.

Q1          What was the idea or project?

 

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Q2          Why was it important to you (this is probably the most important question of all)?

 

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Q3          What were the early warning signs that things were going awry? (There are ALWAYS early warning signs)

 

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Q4          What was the worst thing that happened (this is a chance to vent emotion; to get stuff off your chest. Venting is vital to your ongoing mental wellbeing actually)?

 

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Q5          What support structures were NOT in place? (research, people, systems, finances, marketing, sales, distribution). BE BRUTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF

 

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Q6          What was the final outcome of the idea or project (another opportunity to vent. At this point its OK to blame whoever or whatever you need to blame, the main thing is get it OFF YOUR CHEST)?

 

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Q7          What could you have done differently (this is about taking ownership of YOUR part in what went wrong? This is probably the most painful question to answer, but be brutally honest with yourself)

 

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Q8          With hindsight, at what point could you have saved things?

 

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Q9          What was good about the idea or project?

 

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Q10        What can still be salvaged?

 

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Q11        What were the greatest learnings for you?

 

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Q12        What will you do differently next time?

 

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Q13        What are you most proud of during the process?

 

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And BE proud of yourself. So many people go through life never trying anything; never taking a risk. You gave it a go. Well done. Be proud of that. But now make sure that you don’t give up trying new things. Onward and upward has to become your catch cry.

And I leave you with a few of my favourite quotes; things I read regularly every time I think that trying new things and taking a few risks is too hard and too scary.

"The meek shall inherit the earth, but not it's mineral rights." J.P Getty       

 “A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.” Sydney Smith

“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” Wayne Dyer

"We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." Jim Rohn

 

Ann Andrews CSP

MD The Corporate Toolbox

www.thecorporatetoolbox.com

 

Ann Andrews is an HR Consultant, published author, profiler and team specialist. She has probably made more mistakes than anyone living in the world today! And she is still alive, her business is still alive and she still gets up every day wanting to try new things and give things a go.


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Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

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