Good Judgment Comes from Experience and Experience Comes from Poor Judgment

by Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could say that all the things you’ve and all the decisions you made were the right ones? I think that as most of us look back over our lives, at times we are pleased with our actions and at Good Judgment Comes from Experience and Experience Comes from Poor Judgmentother times we’re a little disturbed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure gotten myself in some jams along the way. We all want to feel like we use good judgment, not only in the tight times but also in day-to-day decisions.

Your mistakes and failures contain the seeds of opportunity when you focus your energy on what to learn from them. Chris Argyris, a psychologist who wrote The Witch Doctors, found that failure is a much better teacher than success. Argyris calls success “single-loop” learning. For example, “I did X and it worked.” Argyris states that failure generates “double-loop learning”, which leads people to investigate their failures and the assumptions behind them.

In fact, if you aspire to greater learning or greater levels of influence in your business or personal life, you first must learn from the mistakes that you have made and will make in the future. Experiences teach only when you avail yourself of their lessons. Sometimes you have to go through the situation several times before you learn the lesson. But once you learn it, you are never the same.

“To make no mistake is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.”  ~ Plutarch

If you found these tips from Bob Rausch, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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