I remember my 'Maths Tutor' in school trying various means to teach me how to solve complex maths problems. Considering my limited acumen in maths, nothing seemed to work for a considerable amount of time.
He 'seemingly' gave up any remote hope which was left. Finally, he told me about his struggling phase of dealing with maths in childhood and more importantly how he came out of it.
That was the 'inflection point'. I felt I was not being taught by a super human but an human. Maths was no more a 'Horror Show' for me since then.
On a different note, in a Team context, our pursuit 'towards' success unites us relatively more than enjoying 'success' itself. In that pursuit of success, we make 'mistakes'.
Now keep the thoughts mentioned above in the parking lot for sometime.
How different would be the morale of the team in the below two different scenarios?
- Your Team Leader talks about his previous success stories with a special focus on what he did 'right' and expects you to get motivated from the same.
- Your Team Leader talks about his previous success stories with a special focus on what he did 'wrong' and expects you to get motivated from the same.
It's natural for all teams to celebrate success but it takes a lot of humility, sensitivity and wherewithal for a Team Leader to celebrate his mistakes. Discussing one's mistakes with the team might create a better bonding with the team than the overrated Pizza or Beer party. The team would feel 'comfortable' to tread beyond their 'comfort zone' yet be more 'cautious' about the possible mistakes.
Allowing yourself to celebrate and candidly discuss your mistakes would ensure each and every Team Members in your team to be an "Idealistic Pragmatist" (coined by Peter Senge).
However, its important that while sharing your mistakes, you adequately and more importantly do focus on the lessons you learnt from the mistakes. Finally, encourage your team members to make mistakes and keep learning but never repeat the same mistakes.
It's fine to make different mistakes and not repeat the same ones ;-)