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Yonda Poslavsky talks reappraising decisions

Tue 30 November 2010

, Yonda Poslavsky, Labour Psychologist

Marleen, a team leader in her mid 40s asked for some advice on reconsidering decisions. She regrets a choice she’s recently made. But she is reluctant to reconsider, because she’s afraid she’ll lose face.

Marleen is a team leader in her mid 40s who recently wanted some guidance about reappraising decisions. She had just been promoted into her new management job in a male-dominated department. Her co-workers generally don’t handle criticism very well, and often brush feedback aside.


Marleen admitted to me she’s taken a decision that in hindsight has proved wrong. But she is reluctant to reconsider, because she’s afraid she will lose face and her co-workers will take her even less seriously.


Reconsidering a decision is always hard, especially if you have to admit a mistake to people who aren’t at all used to doing so themselves. I understand that re-evaluating a decision is even harder if your colleagues rather brush them off than admit their own mistakes.


That said, looking at the situation from a different angle could prove more fruitful. Showing your boundaries and where you may have crossed them can be quite strengthening. Being open to other opinions, listening to others and doing something with the information are qualities that are often credited to female leaders.

Strong leader

So as a female leader, admitting a wrong simply shows you are in fact a strong leader. Demonstrating these qualities shows you are capable of introspection and reflection, and only true leaders are capable of that.

Lead by example

It is especially important to lead by example when you’re bothered with the fact that co-workers lack these qualities –introspection and reflection. Leading by example in my view is one of the strongest ways a leader can influence her team.

Letting go

From my experience people who are new in a leadership position often find it hard to re-examine decisions and choices. Insecurity plays a big role here. It’s the lack of confidence that often leads to leaders not being taken seriously by their teams. Once you let go of the anxiety, things start to work out much easier.