Is Making Mistakes a Good Thing?

Do you know that feeling when you make a mistake and you feel proud?

Well, no one knows. The truth is that no one ever felt proud for making mistakes. We feel ashamed, embarrassed and even stupid.

So yes, no one likes to make mistakes.

When we started with the Vivify Academy (web programing courses), we knew that this issue of being afraid of making mistakes had to be solved straight away because it leads to other problems as well. This is why we created a list of tips and tricks our lectures use to encourage positive learning atmosphere. But what makes these tips so successful is the fact that they can be applied not just to classroom but also to workspace.

If you want to create a positive and engaging atmosphere at work, you can follow these tips or adapt them to suit your needs.

Open communication is extremely important

Even though the importance of effective communication is a topic that has been discussed numerous times, it is still a big issue, especially in the classrooms.

Our lecturers insist on open and informal communication. If students don’t understand something, they should stop the lecturer and ask for clarification. However, it is not always easy to do this since students can think that their questions are stupid or they are simply shy. This can be solved with open communication. If the atmosphere is positive, they won’t be afraid to ask questions. Constantly encourage them to ask questions or to even stop you when they don’t understand something. Just make sure that you understand that this process takes time and it should be worked on constantly.

Stop being afraid of not knowing something

Unfortunately, we live in a society which teaches us that we should have all the answers. If we don’t know, we feel ashamed and scared. But it is not supposed to be like that.

Just remember when you started learning the alphabet. Imagine that you claimed you know all the letters and that your teacher decided not to teach them. What would have happened?

Of course, you wouldn’t learn the alphabet, which would lead to not knowing how to read or write.

The same principles apply to learning anything new. Realizing that you don’t know something is the first step towards learning it and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

We also encourage our teachers to admit if they don’t know something. They should write that down and look it up. This is how they lead by example and show to the students that it is perfectly fine not to have all the answers, as long as they are ready to learn something new.

Embrace mistakes

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. — Sir Ken Robinson, education and creativity expert

Instead of just ignoring mistakes, we try to teach our students that making them is a part of the learning process, especially in the web development world. For example, they will have to solve a task, try to do it several times and it won’t work. They have to get used to overcoming obstacles and finding various solutions to one problem.

We do this in order to teach them that errors are their best friends. There is nothing worse for a developer than when something is not working and it appears there is no error. Once they can see the error they made, they can start thinking about all the possible solutions until they find the right one.

Changing the mindset of the students (or coworkers) so that they accept mistakes and become willing to openly express their ideas is not an easy task. It requires time and effort. But it is definitely worth it since this will create a positive and engaging atmosphere.