Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong

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Penguin, Mar 17, 2011 - Business & Economics - 304 pages
5 Reviews

New York Times columnist Alina Tugend delivers an eye-opening big idea: Embracing mistakes can make us smarter, healthier, and happier in every facet of our lives.

In this persuasive book, journalist Alina Tugend examines the delicate tension between what we’re told—we must make mistakes in order to learn—and the reality—we often get punished for them. She shows us that mistakes are everywhere, and when we acknowledge and identify them correctly, we can improve not only ourselves, but our families, our work, and the world around us as well. Bold and dynamic, insightful and provocative, Better by Mistake turns our cultural wisdom on its head to illustrate the downside of striving for perfection and the rewards of acknowledging and accepting mistakes and embracing the imperfection in all of us.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MartinBodek - LibraryThing

Very light, but very educational and interesting, reading. Of particular fascination were the medicine and airline chapters, both concepts which I've read full books about. Very nice research was done, and loose ends tied up. Quite a solid book. Read full review

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Everyone is irritated by mistakes at some point, whether their own mistakes or others'. Why do we find it so annoying, when most of us were raised to believe that making mistakes is a sign we are trying new things and can often be a good way to learn? This book provides answers, describing the difference between "above the line" and "below the line" errors, and showing why some children are better at learning from mistakes than others. It also shows how people actually have learned from even egregious mistakes and how they have succeeded in preventing repeats. There are fascinating sections on professions where mistakes literally can be matters of life and death: in medicine and airlines. Throughout, the book mantains a sense of humor while delivering a lot of information that is easy to understand.  

Contents

INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2 IT STARTS EARLY
CHAPTER 3 FAIL OFTEN FAST AND CHEAP
CHAPTER 4 ITS NOT BRAIN SURGERY BUT WHAT IF IT IS?
CHAPTER 5 LESSONS FROM THE COCKPIT
CHAPTER 6 BLAMING YOU BLAMING ME
CHAPTER 7 YOU SAY MISTAKE I SAY LESSON
CHAPTER 8 I WANT TO APOLOGIZE
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About the author (2011)

Alina Tugend writes the the award-winning biweekly column “ShortCuts” for the New York Times, and a parenting column for Worth magazine. She was born and raised in Southern California and spent seven years in London before moving to Larchmont, New York, with her husband and two sons.

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