“Learning is a change of behavior acquired through experience”. (Nelson, 2013, p. 198). How appropriate that chapter six which focuses on learning and positive and negative reinforcement systems and ways of giving feedback would choose to present Sir James Dyson as a case study. His ability to learn based on trial and error in order to become successful is very inspiring. In 1991, when Bishop Ignatius Catanello took me out of a classroom and named me business manager, (although I had no education or training in finance or business), I was terrified.
He explained that my honesty and love and devotion I had for the school would make up for a lack of training. He was very supportive and encouraging to me. Bishop Catanello was supportive even when I purchased a beautiful bus that would normally be used to transport people at airports, to transport students. I would find out a week after the purchase, since it wasn’t a regulation “school bus”, it could not be used for student transport. The bus remained parked for six months in the school parking lot as a symbol of my first mistake.
It wasn’t the last mistake I would make; however, it was the most publically displayed mistake. I did my homework and learned all the school transportation laws, including proper driver licensing, bus inspections and article 19 regulations. Trial and error could probably describe my first few years as business manager.
1. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” (George Bernard Shaw). Sir Dyson states that “someone doesn’t have to grow into a job. If you allow them to make mistakes, they will learn extremely quickly” (Nelson, 2013, p. 232). The important part isn’t the mistake…it is how you learn from mistakes. Good managers will assist employees with job performance evaluations and positive and negative feedback. By reviewing work performance and communicating proper feedback, learning will take place.
2. Mistakes are learning experiences, a worker who sees his/her mistakes that way is unlikely to make the same mistake twice. If a manger emphasizes learning rather than applying pressure of NOT making mistakes, employees will be more comfortable and end up being more successful in their roles. If the stress level of an employee can be reduced by understanding that making mistakes is a learning experience and not the end of the world, (this needs to be clearly communicated by the employer), than moving forward to be more successful in the work place will occur. The way in which a supervisor conducts job performance is critical to this process.
Effective managers will mentor employees by coaching and counseling. . “Mentoring is a work relationship that encourages development and career enhancement for people moving through the career cycle” (Nelson, 2013, p. 221). I think Sir Dyson would advise managers in charge of training and evaluating people to take on a role as mentor. I think he would encourage hard work and patience. He would advise managers to encourage fresh thinking and creativeness. Sir Dyson would tell managers not to let a person in training to give up. Evaluate employee’s job performances more on potential greatness rather than previous failures.