HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVA Podcast 37- How do I handle mistakes that my team makes? And then when I make the mistake?

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Dave Braun
00:00:00
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, where we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with virtual assistants without breaking the bank, without breaking your bank. Who was the guy laughing at me in the background? Actually, I made a mistake. This is going to be perfect for this episode. I like how I recovered.

Larry Broughton
00:00:27
It was awesome man, smooth.

Dave Braun
00:00:30
So anyway, that other guy there is Larry Broughton and I’m Dave Braun, and welcome to HireMyVA and so many other things. We’re so excited to be able to talk about this great subject today with you guys.

Larry Broughton
00:00:44
Hey Dave, how are you, buddy? I love ya. Glad we’re here.

Dave Braun
00:00:47
Well, it’s my son’s 34th birthday and—

Larry Broughton
00:00:54
That’s awesome.

Dave Braun
00:00:55
Well, let’s dive into this. Are you ready?

Larry Broughton
00:00:57
Yeah. I liked this topic by the way. So let’s hear the question for everybody.

Dave Braun
00:01:01
Okay. So it’s kind of like two parts, right? It’s as a leader in my organization, especially as a CEO, how do I handle mistakes that my team makes? That’s kind of like part one. The other part is, how do I handle things when I make mistakes? Let’s say, you Larry.

Larry Broughton
00:01:23
Well, it’s very interesting. Just on, I did a quick social media post on this video a couple of years ago, and it just got re-posted a few days ago. And let me start out with that. There are kind of a few elements, very quickly. And then we kind of maybe rip off of that. I think Dave, the first thing is just, we have to accept that mistakes are gonna happen because we are dealing with humans and we are humans. Mistakes are going to happen in business, right? And so we have to learn some tolerance around mistakes. The second thing I would say, and this has to do, particularly for us is that we have to develop a culture where our team members, including ourselves, accept responsibility when they make a mistake. And again, we can rip on these after I kind of list these.

Larry Broughton
00:02:17
The next thing is once we’ve made the mistake and identified the mistake and hopefully even learned from mistake, we have to jettison all the emotional baggage that goes with it. You know that “oh, I’m so stupid” or “I’m always going to make these mistakes” that has to go out the flipping window. We’ve got to jettison that and just say, that’s part of the past, that’s not who I am today, I’ve learned from it, I’m moving forward. But the key to doing that is we have to make sure —and this is the kind of number four, we have to understand why and how that mistake was made, and then learn from it. But there are certainly some do’s and don’ts about dealing with mistakes. We can get into that in a little bit, but we can start off the conversation with those four or five different things there. What do you think about that? Good starting point?

Dave Braun
00:02:58
Yeah, that’s a great one. Well, let me tell you a story about what happened in my organization just recently. So, you know, Pro Website Creators, we do a few other things, and one of my team members, he did some updates on the site and it broke the site and he was really mortified at what happens, like, “oh my gosh, I’m never gonna do this again”. So we talked about it beforehand. It’s like I said, yeah, go ahead and do that. Just make sure you have a backup in case something goes wrong. Right? So, I think that’s an aspect of when you do things as a team member or as you know, in your organization yourself. You need to understand what the potential consequences could be when you do more mistake, you don’t have the backups there. So we had them, but there was something still that he was still really, really upset about it.

Dave Braun
00:03:50
And I was like, well, if it needs being, we can always recover. Right? And these things happen. You didn’t do anything that was wrong. You did everything right. It’s just, these things happen sometimes. Right? So I think there’s an aspect of it that as we talked about ahead of time, that there’s, you know, some of the folks might internally be a little bit too— How do I say this, to not squeamish, but to too scared to do stuff, or they’re mortified if something goes wrong. And I think what’s going to happen is if we, as leaders, don’t address that in our organization, no matter who it is, we’re going to be really holding our organization back.

Larry Broughton
00:04:36
Well, listen. Dave, can I interrupt here for a second? This program is not just about hiring a VA. This program is about how to help people become better leaders and better entrepreneurs, so they have more success with their VAs. We want people to have total freedom, right? So this is a bigger issue. The truth is the insight that we’re talking about here today, you’re not going to hear in any other VA program, you’re just not going to find it. So here’s part of the problem though. And here’s the great thing, If every person who is taking this program takes our entrepreneurial and leadership advice and you know, you and I have been named one of the top mentors in the country when it comes to entrepreneurship and leadership people. We have done this before, this is not our first rodeo.

Larry Broughton
00:05:25
What we have found after mentoring at this point, clearly hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of businesses, is that what we’re talking about is unique. The reason that some of these team members are squeamish, I think was the word is because most organizations don’t tolerate mistakes. If you weren’t making mistakes, you are not innovating. If you are not making mistakes, you’re not pushing the envelope. You’re not moving fast enough or getting close enough to your organization’s fullest, potential. Mistakes, as I said earlier, are going to happen. It’s how do we respond to these mistakes? And when our team members may make mistakes. So in most organizations, people get the snot kicked out of them for making a mistake, instead of saying, like doing an AAR an after-action review to figure out the why and the how those mistakes were made, and then to learn from them.

Larry Broughton
00:06:17
That’s the key here, right? But you have to have a culture that accepts mistake making because when you get everybody to understand that, Hey, we’re gonna make mistakes. We’re gonna make tons of mistakes, but we’re gonna get better each time. And we’re going to be moving really fast. Then people will kind of lean into it and they’ll start taking some mitigated risk. Right? Cause you gotta identify what’s the downside. Like, if I do this, am I not only going to knock this website down, but I’m not going to blow the server up. Right? I would expect like, let’s not do those types of mistakes, but the other key Dave is as a leader, we have to accept that there will be mistakes, but we shouldn’t be accepting as the same mistake being made over and over again. That’s the key, right?

Larry Broughton
00:07:08
So if a team member or the organization keeps making the same mistake over again, you need to step back and have an honest evaluation of yourself, ourselves and say, why is this happening? Because if you are not an organization that accept mistakes — Let me put it in another way. If you keep making mistakes and you’re not a learning organization, let me say, let me get even more detail. If you keep making the same mistake over and over again, then you’re not a learning organization. So I think that’s really important to understand. Does that make sense?

Dave Braun
00:07:42
Yeah, it totally makes sense. And you know, as you’re talking, I was thinking, you know, when it comes to leading team members, there’s so many parallels between leading our team members and raising kids. Right? And I’m thinking, you know, as a parent, Larry —you know, raising my kids, like I said, my oldest is now 34—

Larry Broughton
00:08:04
You’ve been doing that for a while.

Dave Braun
00:08:07
But you know, we did our best to reserve the times when we like actually go, when it was like, get out of the street, cause you can die. Right? Because otherwise then they wouldn’t listen to us if we kept yelling for little things. “Oh, you spilled your milk? Oh my gosh, you’re so stupid”. “How could you do that? What a disaster!” No, you don’t do that. So I think, we’ve really got to make sure that we are understanding our organization. You, weren’t running out into the middle of the street and being really, really dangerous, putting clients in danger, putting, yourselves in danger. Versus, spilling a little milk or a room being dirty, that kind of stuff.

Larry Broughton
00:08:53
Yeah. Can I throw a few dos and don’ts? They’re kind of coming to my mind, it might help people. Like, don’t make assumptions that because someone made a mistake they’re stupid or they have a spirit of malice about the organization. Oftentimes that’s not the case. So don’t make assumptions. You gotta go in with an open mind and ask questions. Why or how did this mistake happen? Don’t let problems build up. Okay? Oftentimes I’ve seen this with managers who don’t have a spirit of leaning into conflict, but they kind of lean back when conflict happens. But what happens if you do let the problem build up? Then what happens? Resentment happens and you start getting passive-aggressive or just when your response tends to be disproportionate. So don’t make assumptions. Don’t let the problem build up.

Larry Broughton
00:09:48
Don’t show you’re biased or I knew this was going to happen if I would have done it or if that man would have done it instead of that woman, or if that Caucasian person, instead of that African-American. Don’t let your biases creep into this thing. Another don’t is, don’t be a wuss. Deal with problems, head-on, okay? Mistakes head-on. There’s a saying down under —I’ve got an Australian very good friend of mine and he says, he talks about giving people the crap-filled lolly. Here in the states, we call it a crap sandwich. Right?

Larry Broughton
01:10:32
So what am I talking about? What was that? So what is that? Well, they’d say, you know, if you got to get bad news, this is kind of like old school leadership, right? You got to get bad news. Sandwich at what’s something nice. Right? I really like that you have a great sales approach. You are killing on sales approach but you really blew it on this one, but I’m really glad that you’re so good in sales. Right? Here’s the downside with that. We have a team member in our organization Dave, I’ve shared with you in the past that when I have gone into her office at times to give her like an atta girl kudos, she gets really nervous. Why does she get nervous? Because at our former gig, anytime a supervisor came into her office to give her a piece of good news, she knew that the hammer was going to fall, that she must’ve screwed up on something else.

Larry Broughton
01:11:24
You know what I mean? But when you constantly have a culture of catching people doing things all the time, their emotional bank account gets filled up so that you don’t have to tip-toe around people when you have to give them bad news, because you’ve already got the emotional bank account filled up. So if you screw up Dave, and I’m constantly giving you atta boys, I can come in and say, “Dave, come on, you’re better than this, this is a really simple mistake that should have been avoided”. Do you know what I mean? And then your feelings aren’t crushed by that. And so you know, you can be much more direct and they trust that you still love them. There’s a book called The Speed of Trust. Right? This is so important when people trust that you’ve got your back.

Larry Broughton
01:12:07
When they trust they’re not going to lose their job because they made another mistake. Things move much more efficiently and you build an organization that’s filled with joy. Right? So those are the don’ts. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t let the problem build up. What was the next one? Don’t show you’re biased and don’t be a wuss. Sorry. Here’s the other thing or so here are the dos, do your homework. Why and how did the mistake happen? Do consider the team members track record of success or failures or mistakes. Because sometimes if there’s a team member that’s making mistakes over and over and over again, what’s their track record? That might be the same person. Who’s highly innovating as well. Right? And so you’ve got to really balance that out. Right? The other thing is, do consider the impact on motivation because sometimes people, like this person that I just mentioned, there may be some selective risk-taking that’s happening.

Larry Broughton
01:13:03
And you want that in your organization. And I think finally, Dave, the last two, I would say is, be direct and respectful when you’re addressing these things. I’ve seen bosses —don’t use that term intentionally— who have lost their freaking minds when mistakes have been made before. And I will tell you I’ve done it too. I don’t want to say I’ve lost my mind, but I’ve raised my voice with team members before too when we’ve made really stupid mistakes and done it over and over again. And I say, we are better than this. We cannot accept this level of performance —all the righteous anger.

Dave Braun
01:13:39
I am and I’ve done it. And you know, as a leader, you’re not going to be perfect in this, right? And I’ve done it before where it’s like, oh man, I probably was too harsh in this situation. You know, one of the things that help me is that at the end of it, I always back off and say — cause as a leader, ultimate leader of the organization, you have to take responsibility for everything. And then it’s like, you know, guys, ultimately it’s my responsibility because I haven’t communicated well enough to you guys or whatever it is that is just isn’t acceptable. It really ends up being mindful. The other thing that I was — we didn’t talk about it on a pre-show but I was thinking about this, is that you know, you and your organization, you do a lot in person, but not as much right now, of course, but there’s so much that goes on in the virtual world, that’s done by Slack or texting or whatever. But then we’ve got our zoom meetings, right? So, you know, I think it’s great to give atta boys, atta girls, whatever you want to call it virtually, but you gotta make sure you do it verbally and in zoom meetings as well.

Larry Broughton
01:15:00
So fricking lutely too much get lost in translation and texts and emails. But there shouldn’t be any organization, a lie right now that has not gotten yet comfortable with doing video conferencing. Correct. All right? It’s not as good as in-person, but it is leaps and bounds and light years better than texting and emailing for sure. Because you can do this stuff. You can make eye contact, that you can see facial expressions, you can hear intonation in the voice and we ought to be almost going overboard a little bit about catching people doing things right, right now.

Dave Braun
01:15:43
Yeah. And you can, when you say going overboard catching people doing things right. One of the things that we advocate of course in HireMyVA and you know, at least a weekly team meeting. So as a leader, if you’re leading this team meeting, make sure that you have on your normal agenda, that you go ahead and have something in there and you give somebody a kudos. Force yourself to do it. So that until you get into the habit of doing it, you’ll just need to schedule on it.

Larry Broughton
01:16:15
Yeah. Dave, I’m not sure when whatever time of the year or life of your business, that you’re watching this video, we are recording this and we are still in a pandemic for COVID right now. But somebody may be doing this five years later, and you may have heard about COVID in your history lesson, but we are in what is considered a business crisis right now. And one of our mantras in our organization is the best communication during times of crisis is over communication. And it’s particularly true when dealing with your team members. Okay? Catching people doing things right, inspire them towards greatness.

Dave Braun
01:16:53
Yeah. And you really got to go overboard, especially, if it’s not a pandemic when you’re watching this and you have a virtual team, there’ll be, you’ve really still got to go overboard on the communication.

Larry Broughton
01:17:07
Yeah. Because you know, if you’re in the same office with somebody Dave, just a wink across the office or a thumbs up or a, you know, we got this kind of thing throughout the day. You don’t do that if somebody is working halfway around the world.

Dave Braun
01:17:25
That’s right. Yeah. You just can’t—

Larry Broughton
01:17:28
So maybe a good word is intentional. You have to be intentional about building that emotional bank account that we’re talking about earlier. It’s much easier to correct mistakes when you’ve got an emotional bank account that people can, they know love and trust you. That they know that the feedback you’re giving them is coming from a spirit of love and recognizing the potential in the organization and the potential in that specific team member. That you’re “not” correcting them because you’re just an ass or that they are a failure, right? You’re doing it because I love you. I want you to do better. The better you do, the better we do it as an organization. And then we all win.

Dave Braun
01:18:08
And I think it goes the other way around too. Because as leaders, we have to admit when we make mistakes,

Larry Broughton
01:18:15
Dave, all of this is hollow and will be an absolute failure. If we are expecting our team members to do one thing and then we don’t. If we can’t admit to our team members when we made a mistake, it’s all going to be hollow and for not they won’t believe you, they won’t trust you. So when we make a mistake Dave, we have to admit it. And as for — you know, I’m sorry, I hope you’ll forgive me for it, and here’s what I learned from it. By us doing that, it gives them permission —I’m sorry, I keep cutting you off, I’m sorry.

Dave Braun
01:18:48
Keep going.

Larry Broughton
01:18:48
I was going to say that by us admitting, you’re setting the example.

Dave Braun
01:18:53
Absolutely. And you know, we advocate doing AAR’s, right?. Well, you’re not going to get a good AAR within your teamwork and together if they don’t feel like they can be honest with you. So this level of vulnerability, you know, building up the emotional bank account both ways, meaning when you make a mistake and it just, it goes, it really has some long tentacles throughout your organization. So, any of these questions is kind of like how to build an emotional bank account with your team, within your organization.

Larry Broughton
01:19:34
Yeah. Maybe that’s the subheading.

Dave Braun
01:19:34
Yeah, that’s great. Well, we’ve gone a long time on this one. Any other thoughts?

Larry Broughton
01:19:42
No. I would just encourage people that this is one of those great topics that you can discuss in detail, in the community forum. That is I believe, although there’s great resources in this and the teachings throughout HireMyVA is really powerful and we’re seeing people grow their businesses exponentially. Right now, the best I believe the most important part of this is the community forum. And if you have a question about this, put it there and fellow tribe members will help you with this. And we can talk about it on our recurring calls as well.

Dave Braun
02:20:15
All right. Yep. Definitely would love our community

Larry Broughton
02:20:18
Yes, would love our community.

Dave Braun
02:20:22
Well, thank you folks for joining us today on this community call we’ve got going on, but remember, building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom. They’re not here to help you. But three things we’d want you to do right now, we’d really appreciate it, number one, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. Number two, give us a rating, and number three, go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course and community, our latest blog, there’s all kinds of good information there. And remember though, one of the important things for you guys to remember is that even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with virtual assistants and just leading your team. If it’s not, even if they’re not virtual, if they’re with you in person, you’ll learn so much. The stuff that we talked about today is totally applicable virtual and non-virtual. So Larry and I would love to help you guys. We’re helping people now but just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
02:21:20
I just want to remind you folks, do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Go do something significant today, my friends. God bless you. God keep you, God hold you. All right, go get ’em.

 

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