“Error chain” is an aviation term. It is a term to describe a series of mistakes that can lead to an accident or incident. There are two basic principles. The first is that one bad decision often leads to another. The second is that as the number of bad decisions increase, the number of good options decrease.
Although the aeronautical intent is to break the error chain before it can cause an accident or incident, it is a concept that we can all use in our professional and personal lives.
How many times have we made a bad decision? How often has that led to more bad decisions? Of course, the more bad decisions we make, the more difficult it is to resolve the situation.
An interesting aspect of the error chain is why do we keep making bad decisions? Do we recognize that we made a bad decision? If so, why do we continue to make more bad decisions? It is a matter of ego, shame, pride?
If we can stop as soon as we realize we have made a bad decision, analyze what we did and why, and make a good decision instead of another bad one, we can break our “error chain.” If we cannot seem to stop making bad decisions, then we need to determine why and address those issues.