Failure is the most feared outcome, and fear of it paralyzes us. If a child feared failure, that child would never learn to talk, walk or ride a bike. Similarly, an organization that fears failure remains unchanged.
Even though failure has a stigma, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. If we make a mistake and fail, we need to look at what happened, learn from that mistake and change. Unfortunately, the workplace is not very accommodating of failure.!@!
According to an article in “The Vancouver Sun,” there are three steps to learning from a failure. First you must acknowledge defeat.
“Knowing when to quit can be a challenge. Yet, it is important to be able to admit defeat to minimize both your losses and the company’s. Recognizing a failure is like acknowledging a death. It means understanding that the end has come.”
Next you must restore yourself. Failing is emotionally exhausting, but it’s important you don’t ignore your emotions.
“It is natural to feel shame, embarrassment, guilt, humiliation and anger. The intensity and degree to which you feel these things will depend on your personality. If you find yourself feeling guilty, this is a good sign because workers who feel remorse tend to focus on what they can learn from the experience.”
The last step is to learn. You must identify what you need to learn from the experience, meet with an advisor and go over “the anatomy of the failure,” and lastly incorporate the lessons learned into an action plan.
“Whatever the lessons learned, failure is a harsh teacher who points uncompromisingly at our mistakes, foibles and shortcomings. At the same time, she is a powerful conduit for self knowledge, growth and change. If you can rise to the formidable challenge she presents, all will not be in vain and your losses can turn into lessons in better living and working.”