When Subordinates Do What We Think Is Wrong

It is essential to approach situations where subordinates make mistakes or engage in inappropriate actions with a mindset of understanding and empathy. As a leader, it is crucial to believe that most workers have good intentions. Instead of immediately reprimanding or criticizing them, take the time to have a conversation and try to understand their perspective.

The Power of Understanding

When faced with an error or inappropriate action, the first step is to ask the subordinate why they made that decision. By seeking to understand their thought process, we open up a meaningful dialogue. This approach focuses on the actions and thoughts behind their behavior rather than attacking their personality or habits. It creates an environment where individuals feel safe to express themselves and learn from their mistakes.

Fostering Growth and Learning

By approaching the conversation with empathy and curiosity, we create an opportunity for growth and learning. Instead of simply reprimanding the subordinate, we can guide them to reflect on their actions and encourage them to find alternative solutions. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement and personal development.

Building Trust and Collaboration

When leaders take the time to understand their subordinates’ perspectives, it builds trust and strengthens the relationship. Subordinates feel valued and respected when their voices are heard and their ideas are acknowledged. This trust forms the foundation for effective collaboration and teamwork.

The Role of Feedback

Constructive feedback plays a vital role in this process. As leaders, it is important to provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and focused on the behavior or action, rather than attacking the individual. By offering guidance and support, we can help subordinates learn from their mistakes and grow both personally and professionally.


In conclusion, when subordinates do something we perceive as wrong, it is crucial to approach the situation with understanding and empathy. By seeking to understand their perspective and engaging in open and constructive dialogue, we create a culture of growth, trust, and collaboration.

Let us remember that everyone is capable of making mistakes, and it is through these experiences that we learn and grow. By fostering an environment of understanding and open communication, we can cultivate a motivated and empowered workforce.