What did you learn from your mistakes

Error culture: you only learn from mistakes

Just say "yes" to mistakes!

The topic of error culture is omnipresent in all of our lives. Mistakes happen all the time, sometimes they are smaller, sometimes bigger and sometimes they actually lead on the right path. So sticky tape or penicillin were only invented by chance and precisely because something did not work out as expected. In our world, which tends towards optimization and perfection, one often forgets how important errors are. Hardly anything has as much influence on personal development as the way you deal with mistakes.

This is especially true for the job: Here you develop your skills further by making mistakes, being able to say to yourself "oh, not bad, you learn from mistakes" and getting up again. And because that is the case, a positive error culture is extremely important in everyday working life. But why is it so difficult to speak openly about mistakes?



The heart of the issue is the culture of errors: you learn from mistakes!


There are situations in which one suddenly breaks out in a sweat: an important document deleted, the mail sent to a customer and not to a colleague, stumbled into the server room with a coffee mug? Mistakes are the order of the day at work - and they also fundamentally help people develop further. However, in order to do this, companies must establish the correct handling of errors and a positive error culture.

Of course, nobody feels comfortable at such a moment. The fear that a mistake could cost one's reputation or even one's job is often great. People deal with the effects of mistakes very differently. While some remain open, relaxed and confident, others find it difficult and may prefer to hide when something goes wrong.

The good news: You can learn to deal with mistakes. So what's the best way to deal with it when you're about to break out in a sweat? When is a mistake so bad that you have to "confess" it? What can be done to avoid giving too much space to the fear of making mistakes?

That's what we have for you our "error journal"developed, which should support you to take a closer look at how you deal with mistakes and mishaps, to gain distance and to be mindful of how you deal with errors and to improve your error management.






In addition to beautiful quotes from successful and clever people on the subject of mistakes, you will also find many tips on how to deal with mistakes and there is also a lot to smile about! After all, that's what it's all about: You can laugh at mistakes!


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Error culture expert Jelena Klingenberg: dealing with errors in job interviews


"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new."

We now know: making mistakes is part of it. Mistakes are even important to find out what is good and what works. Unfortunately, nobody can say that making mistakes is fun or pleasant. When we make a mistake, we first have a bad feeling.

It is the same in the interview. But what about the error culture? Interviews are challenging situations. We are excited, want to make a good impression and forget what we found out about the company and found it particularly good, or we have a little blackout when asked about our experiences from the last job.

Mistakes also happen in job interviews. And there it is again, that uncomfortable “That wasn't so good” feeling.


But what exactly is happening to us?


When we realize that we have made a mistake, our brain switches to the "Oh no, mistake, ERROR!" Mode. Actually a good mechanism. Our attention is drawn to the mistake so that we can correct it if possible. In the case of life-threatening mistakes, our brain is very clever, but in the case of an inept answer to a question in a job interview, not all that helpful, because then we cannot think of anything else.

That's a problem. Our attention and our thoughts are so absorbed by the mistake that we can no longer concentrate on the further interview. This means that we can no longer show what we are made of.

This carousel of thoughts is also accompanied by a feeling of shame. Shame is an uncomfortable feeling caused by the impression of failure, embarrassment, or exposure that leads us to devalue ourselves. Here, too, there is actually a clever mechanism behind it. Our brains don't want us to get into a situation again that we apparently weren't up to. So it makes the whole thing feel bad so we can avoid it.

The problem here, however, is that our brain tries to convince us that it is a lot worse than it actually was. We then have the impression that our counterpart must now have an incredibly bad impression of us and that everything we said was somehow bad anyway. Our brain has a tendency to overdramatize, also known as “negativity bias”.

However, others never notice our own mistakes as much as we do ourselves.



So how can we deal with mistakes?


First of all, we need to become aware of these mechanisms. (By reading this article you are already on the right track, keep it up!) Then, when we understand why we react to mistakes, how we react, we can begin to be a little forgiving of ourselves and our own personal "error culture" " to develop. Nobody always has the best answer to all questions and it is normal to be excited during an interview.

What you can tell yourself: I am not my fault. A single mistake does not determine my competence.

It can also be helpful to ask yourself, "What did I learn from this?" "What do I get out of it?" "What was it good for?" So you go into solution mode and can break out of the negative spiral more easily.

If we manage to gain a little distance from our carousel of thoughts and the uncomfortable feeling of shame, we can concentrate on the interview again in the interview, but above all we learn not to let our mistakes hold us back in the long term.


One learns from mistakes - your own mistake culture


Looking at our mistakes more objectively and not letting individual mistakes determine our self-esteem ultimately helps us to learn from mistakes. Viewed from a distance, we can analyze what went wrong. We can even go so far as to recognize our growth potential in mistakes. Did I stutter when asked about my strengths? Obviously, it is worthwhile for me to become aware of my strengths and to be convinced of myself.

Developing a relaxed, neutral view of one's own mistakes and thus developing a positive, personal error culture does not succeed overnight. Here, too, the motto is: be lenient. It's okay to feel bad about a mistake, that's human. Or to put it another way: mistakes also happen when working on one's own attitude towards mistakes. Just be aware: the worst that can happen is not to try again - because you could be successful.



Your handling of mistakes - take the test!


Sure, standing by your mistakes is easier said than done. What does your own error culture look like, how do you really feel about errors and how confidently do you deal with errors in your everyday professional life? Find out in our bug test:



4 tips for your error management


  • Tip 1: Be aware of what exactly happened! Oopsi ... then it happened. Something went wrong. At the beginning of every error management process there is the knowledge and the realization that an error has happened. Here it helps to look closely and understand the error. Of course, it is best not to panic here. It is better to take a few deep breaths and try to collect yourself so that you can look at the situation with clarity. Then you can ask yourself the following questions: What exactly happened? At what point did something go wrong? Why did it happen?


  • Tip 2: Think about the consequences of your mistake. Once you've looked at your mistake, think about the consequences of your mishap. First check whether you can acutely initiate things to iron out or weaken the mistake, or whether "the child has already fallen into the well". Also, think about how bad your mistake really is. It also helps to look at the big picture and to put things in perspective. Most of the time, we find that the situation is ultimately not that bad or is as big as it seems at the beginning.


  • Tip 3: accept that you made a mistake.Yes i made a mistake! This is a sentence that may not come off easily. But it is part of a healthy handling of errors and an open error culture! In most cases, the worst strategy is to hide the mistake, sweep it under the rug or even blame other colleagues. It is important to stand up for your own mistakes! Most people respond positively when you admit your mistakes.


  • Tip 4: learn from your mistakes.It is part of a positive error culture and good handling of errors to draw conclusions from the situation, because it is well known that one learns from mistakes. Once the mistake has happened, the main thing is not to repeat it and, in the best case, to apply what has been learned straight away. And in some cases mistakes can actually help us grow. No matter if it's a big faux pas or a small mishap - be gentle with yourself! Making mistakes is okay, it just depends on how you deal with it.


Open error culture: Make mistakes and talk about them - something goes wrong with everyone!

But no matter how healthy it is to deal with mistakes at work or in everyday life, it sometimes helps to know that everything else does not always go smoothly for everyone else. We spoke to four very different people in very different professions: About how they experience mistakes, which blunders have already happened to them and how they have dealt with them, but also about which tips they have ready.

What did a master craftsman, teacher, physiotherapist and scientist experience and how they cope with their own failure? We have all the answers on the topic of error culture in the workplace in the interview.


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