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The Upside of Failure: A Learning Culture

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Most people avoid failure at all costs, including not trying at all

This is even more true in the work context especially for leaders and teams. But what if failure was really a powerful tool for success? In this blog, we'll explore the upside of failure and how embracing it can actually help you and your team grow.

We’ve all been there! Even the best of us people leaders! At one point or another we've experienced that deep sinking, painful feeling… the lack of success, disappointment, defeat, frustration and even embarrassment where you fell short of the outcome you had ambitiously set out to achieve with your team.

What does it really mean to fail? One way to view it is to see that failing means you tried, you got in the arena. And that in itself is a display of courage, optimism, a leader and team that show up.

And somehow we usually always remember the first time this feeling of failure washed over us. For some, that first taste of failure is enough to make you feel indifferent, to respond defensively as we attach it to our self-worth. If you can find a way to shift your perspective, and practice reframing failure, you’ll be surprised by how rich in data and useful failing is in refining how you do what you do, so you can do and be better.

Failure is a valuable learning opportunity to perfect your craft and outperform your competitors.

The more you embrace failure as part of a natural learning process in the workplace and not something to be feared or avoided, the more innovative, effective and successful you'll become.

For leader's there are many benefits to creating an environment that gives teams the space to ‘fail forward’ a term coined by John Maxwell which is the concept of learning from your mistakes. Creating a safe place to learn from mistakes, to be able to discuss them openly, naturally cultivates a team culture of connection, creativity and collaboration. As a result trust is elevated and teams feel more confident to speak up, share thoughts and ideas, express concerns, be better collaborators and ultimately contribute to broader team goals through their own learning and growth in the workplace. Additionally, you will benefit from past mistakes not being repeated, experimentation of different solutions increases innovation, and learning from shared experiences only serves to create agile and resilient teams.

Connect with us to download a copy of our 6 R's model, a free tip for Leaders to help you navigate the next time you or your team experience a setback.

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