You don’t have to be happy when people make mistakes. But you do have to help them learn from their mistakes.
When you assume good intentions, you reinforce the idea that you expect the person you lead to take action and make good decisions. You reinforce that you expect initiative and resourcefulness. And you expect them to be open to the coaching that will help them understand how to make better decisions once they have a deeper understanding and more information.
If you understand people you realize that most of us aren’t here to cause problems – most of us want to be part of the solution. The way you treat the people who work for you may mean the difference between someone who believes they can make a difference, and someone who simply wants to stay out of trouble. Who would you rather have working for you?