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Learning From Your Mistakes Mistakes
By Michael C. Dennis, MBA, CBF

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There is an old adage: "Mistakes can be doorways to discovery". Mistakes are going to happen. Mistakes can provide opportunities for learning. Mistakes provide opportunities for us as managers to be instructors - and not just critics.

Even the best credit managers can become annoyed by the mistakes their subordinates make. Mistakes will happen. Your goal as a credit manager is to promote constructive learning from those mistakes.

Sometimes, it is easier to correct the problem yourself rather than ask the staff member to correct a mistake - but this is only a short-term fix. Why? Because in the long run they miss out on valuable lessons associated with fixing their own mistakes.

Encourage your staff to consider these issues:

  • What techniques did I try that I might be able to improve on?

  • What always works?

  • What never works?

  • What can I do to improve incrementally?

  • What can I learn from every mistake I make?

Remember that the most expensive mistakes that any credit department can make are the mistakes that they make repeatedly. As credit manager, your job is not to eliminate mistakes, but your job does including ensuring that mistakes are not repeated.

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