Monday, August 3, 2009

Making mistakes and being corrected

A great post here about responding to correction. Making mistakes is a difficult experience, embarrassing and you felt regret and annoyance afterwards. Generally there are three types of mistakes:
  1. Unnoticed and uncorrected mistakes: Good in the sense that the embarrassment is lessened but dangerous because if you don't make of note of how to do better next time you'll forget.
  2. Noticed but uncorrected mistakes: These I think are the toughest, with all the problems and none of the benefits of the one's on either side.
  3. Noticed and corrected mistakes: If corrected well and you take action to change they can actually become good memories with the passage of time and you're able to do better next time.
One thing though about making mistakes and being corrected or correcting yourself is remembering what went wrong in a constructive way and keeping a record of the new thing to do differently. Giving constructive correction takes skill, I'll be glad to be on the receiving end for a couple of years before having to do so myself.

The difference between negative feedback and correction is important: Negative feedback may or may not be right, it's what you do with it that counts. Correction comes from an ally interested in your well being and who provides it in a safe context. Generally if your open to correction from a certain person then you'll probably on the same page and the correction is something in other circumstances you'd agree with anyway.