"It happens to the best of us. Don't worry about it!"

The leadership problem of the sponge-over trap is similar to the cuddle trap: the manager forgets the interests of the organisation in order to preserve the relationship with the employee, with the consequence that mistakes are repeated. However, the reasons behind this are different.


The manager has learnt that looking for someone to blame is not a good way to deal with mistakes. That is why mistakes are generously accepted. Where there's planing, there's chipping. However, mistakes offer important learning opportunities that should not be missed.


Make mistakes a consistent topic (e.g. tops & flops) and systematically plan time to analyse mistakes. The focus is never on who is to blame, but always on optimising processes and interrelationships.

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Lippmann, Eric (2018). Handbook of Applied Psychology for Managers: Leadership Expertise and Leadership Knowledge.