Alina Tugend “Better by mistake”


In the conclusion to this book Tugend writes how when writing it she was so into it that everything came to revolve around it. I’ve been like this reading it: everything seen through the prism of Tugend’s book. Situations at work,drama among friends and the way talk to their children overheard on my commute. Everything.

Tugend starts out with the basic paradox of our society: we are told that “you learn by making mistakes” but also that you most often get penalized for making mistakes, it is frowned upon. Everyone loves pointing out mistakes others have made but fear being the one the finger is pointed at and loath to confess of their own accord.

The book is an in-depth look at the culture of mistakes or rather a culture that doesn’t accept mistakes and how people don’t really know how to do so.

A look at medical-care and aviation, businesses where mistakes can lead to the loss of life, and how they have worked to prevent mistakes as well as create structures to deal with them if they happen, is very informative. Also her examples from her professional as well as personal life. No one is perfect but we can all be a bit better.

Well written, well researched and and a  very important subject.

A lot of food for thought with this one, I have already recommended it to every one I know ( and yes: someone I know, who doesn’t handle her mistakes at all well, said she doesn’t need it. *headdesk*). I heard about it on Swedish radio last summer and not reading it until now was a mistake…


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