Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong

Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong

by Alina Tugend

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485671
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,149,170
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 (mis)understanding and (Re)Defining Mistakes What is a mistake? 9

2 It Starts Early How our children learn from blunders 41

3 "Fail Often, Fast, and Cheap" Mistakes in the workplace 73

4 It's Not Brain Surgery ... But What If It Is? Learning from medicine 107

5 Lessons from the Cockpit Aviation's approach to errors 143

6 Blaming You, Blaming Me Men, women, and mistakes 159

7 You Say Mistake, I Say Lesson Different cultures, different approaches 189

8 I Want to Apologize Saying "I'm sorry" 215

Conclusion 247

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 255

Bibliography 273

Index 285

What People are Saying About This

Daniel Coyle

“Fascinating, vivid, and spectacularly useful. Alina Tugend is a whip-smart guide to the secret landscape where our (so-called) errors are transformed into powerful opportunities. Make no mistake: this is a great book.”--(Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code)

Daniel H. Pink

"BETTER BY MISTAKE is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the deeply human phenomenon of screwing up. With Alina Tugend as your wise (and wise-cracking) guide, you'll learn why perfection is a myth, why apologies pack power, and why effort is often more important than results. And once you've finished this book, you'll never look at mistakes -- or yourself -- the same way." --( Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND)

From the Publisher


"Better By Mistake is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the deeply human phenomenon of screwing up. With Alina Tugend as your wise (and wise-cracking) guide, you'll learn why perfection is a myth, why apologies pack power, and why effort is often more important than results. And once you've finished this book, you'll never look at mistakes -- or yourself -- the same way."
-Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"Oh what a jewel of a book this is! Read it, smile, learn, be surprised, then rejoice in your newly found power of imperfection. Glory in your foibles, rejoice in your mistakes, knowing that if you will but embrace what you may have wanted to deny or avoid, not only will you become more true, you will also grow both in strength and in joy."
-Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of CrazyBusy and Driven to Distraction

"The research presented in Better by Mistake is refreshingly clear and often surprising. Read it and find out why Japanese teachers allow students to spend twelve minutes or more explaining their wrong answer to a math problem, why posting grades for all to see is an example of a healthy understanding of the cyclical nature of time and why praise lowers ambition. This book is fascinating, practical and fun."
-Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee

"Alina Tugend is a terrific reporter, one who knows how to guide her readers through complex issues that matter."
-Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code

Hallowell

“Oh what a jewel of a book this is! Read it, smile, learn, be surprised, then rejoice in your newly found power of imperfection. Glory in your foibles, rejoice in your mistakes, knowing that if you will but embrace what you may have wanted to deny or avoid, not only will you become more true, you will also grow both in strength and in joy.” --( Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of "CrazyBusy" and "Driven to Distraction")

Wendy Mogel

“The research presented in Better by Mistake is refreshingly clear and often surprising. Read it and find out why Japanese teachers allow students to spend twelve minutes or more explaining their wrong answer to a math problem, why posting grades for all to see is an example of a healthy understanding of the cyclical nature of time and why praise lowers ambition. This book is fascinating, practical and fun.”--(Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee )

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