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“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them” – Bruce Lee
As a gardener I have created some beautiful gardens, grown plants that I never thought I could, learned a lot through trial and error, killed a lot of plants, given out a lot of advice, and now I must admit that I was wrong. It’s not easy to do. I really hate being wrong.
When people find out that I’m a Master Gardener they often fire questions at me about what ails their tree or plant. Sometimes I can answer the question or at least guide them to who can help them. Google can often be a more effective plant doctor than I. Last year I gushed about how easy roses are to grow and that there really is a rose bush out there for everyone. I suggested some varieties that are almost foolproof and encouraged people to get out there and plant some roses in my blog greenthumbleadership.com
I was wrong. Today I admitted defeat and dug up over 10 rosebushes that just weren’t cutting it. They are varieties that should have been happy and flourishing in my garden. I fed them, watered them, and they looked horrible. Out they came. I admit that roses aren’t easy to grow – even the foolproof ones. They can be finicky, demanding, and get awful ugly this time of year. I won’t vow to never plant one again and I do have some roses that look like a Better Homes and Gardens picture. But…I was wrong and I’m sorry – maybe you should skip the roses in the garden.
Although I’m not a garden expert, I like to think that I’m pretty knowledgeable and experienced. When you are somewhat of an “expert” it’s hard to admit that you are wrong or made a mistake. Too many of us are too proud, weak, or cowardly to admit that we are wrong. We fear that the consequences of playing it straight will damage our reputation or weaken us in the eyes of others. We have egos that refuse to allow us to say “I was wrong”.
I have seen people blame others for their mistakes because then they can convince themselves that they weren’t wrong. I knew someone in college who would never admit that she was wrong. Her opinion was the only one and it was always someone else who was wrong or made an error. Are you that person?
Why you need to step up and say “I Was Wrong”
· It’s the right thing to do and can bring you personal closure and peace.
· Take personal ownership and become a better leader.
· Being wrong can bring new opportunities and learning. You won’t embrace either of these if you can’t admit that you are wrong.
· Proactive change comes from seeing and admitting what you really don’t want to.
· Saying you are wrong leads to apologies that should have been said a long time ago.
· Managing your mistakes makes you a stronger manager, collaborator, leader.
· People admire those who they feel are honest and “gutsy’ enough to step up and admit they were wrong.
· Admitting you are wrong will build stronger relationships and teams. The blame and games may quell a bit.
· Sharing failures can help others to learn and grow as well.
· We are all human and it’s time that we admit it. We will fail and make mistakes. We are far from perfect and if we all just agree that we will fail, we will build more trust. If we admit our mistakes.
So. Are you finally ready to stand up when you are in error and say “Okay, I was wrong”?