punishmentYou have a choice in how you correct someone who's made a mistake. You can assume the worst, that they're stupid or deliberately trying to undermine or go around you. And you can make them pay by smacking the crap out of them from your high horse. That might, might, be effective if you "caught them red-handed" or if they're too afraid of you to dare err again.

Or you can assume the best, that it was an honest mistake or misunderstanding. And you can ask nicely that they do it this way next time, instead of that way. Maybe even provide a little context, so they understand the decision-making process. That's very likely to be effective whether they meant to do it or not. At the very least, you don't look like a bully or a big jerk. Which, you know, is kind of a good thing no matter what.

So the next time someone screws up, think about 5 seconds before you launch into corrective action¹. A gentler hand is often a more effective strategy.

¹Yeah, it's that pesky Golden Rule thing again.