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Failure

Coming back from failure

How can you come back from failure… 

It is commonplace to go into each year with fresh goals and vision of what you would like to achieve as the year progresses but what if the previous year did not go as you may have hoped? You may consider yourself even further away from your ultimate goal than you were at this point last year. Whilst failure may initially feel discouraging and can cause some people to give up entirely, this kind of mentality will only hold you back from moving forward over the course of the next year. Failure is unavoidable in business and it is these experiences that help us to learn much more about ourselves and our business plan. Here is how you can begin to rebound from failure.   

Unpick how you see failure  

Equipping yourself with the ability to move forward from setbacks rests upon unpacking some deep seated beliefs that many of us hold about failure. Throughout our childhood, and often in the workplace, failure is considered not an option and should be avoided at all costs. Whilst failure is not preferable, a fear or complete avoidance of its occurence can dramatically hinder the growth potential of you and your business. Rather than avoiding failure, work on accepting that things will not always go to plan and embrace the learning opportunities that it presents you with. Businesses and leaders that are not afraid to try new things will be pioneers at the forefront of innovation.  

Spend less time firefighting  

When things go wrong it can be tempting to simply want to find the quickest solution possible out of fear of further negative ramifications or wanting to paper over the cracks instead of admitting there may be a deeper issue at play. Admitting to yourself that there is something that requires attention should not be seen as shameful, it is the first step on the road to moving forward. We all have the same amount of time in the day so how we choose to use it is critical. Rather than spending your valuable time and resources firefighting each time a problem arises, it is much more beneficial to spend time analysing similar cases to discover any common themes that need to be addressed. Whilst you would be spending more time initially, this will save you time over the course of the year to work on other goals in other areas of the business.   

Valuable team bonding 

When something doesn’t go to plan it is easy to slip into blaming each other and focusing on who caused the problem instead of finding a solution. Instead of placing the focus on one person/team, make problem-solving a joint effort ensuring the emphasis is placed upon working together to move forward and the task at hand rather than specific individuals. These exercises not only help the business to refine it’s working processes, but it is also key to developing the personal skills of each member of the team. Working together on these tasks where the team share the same goal will establish unity.   

Rather than going into the year ahead feeling disappointed about what may have come before it or afraid that something may not go to plan, consider any setbacks as invaluable learning opportunities which can help you to get closer to your goals, refine your working processes and personal skills whilst also helping to create well-functioning teams.  

About the authors 

Karen Meager and John McLachlan set up Monkey Puzzle Training and Consulting to support leaders and teams in their professional and personal growth through training, coaching and business strategy events. They take the latest scientific and academic thinking and make it accessible and usable in peoples’ work and everyday life.  

Monkey Puzzle teach people to understand their thought processes and why they (and others) behave in the way they do. These skills enable individuals to choose how they want to behave to get the results they want, which leads to a less stressful, more fulfilling life. 

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