In the last years, I have watched my kids learning to water ski. They would fall and fail but would continue to get up. They kept trying until they succeeded, and all the time we were there cheering them on. It’s funny how we change as adults.
- How often will you continue to try after failing time after time?
- How often will you cheer for someone else on as they fail?
In business, it seems that cheering for failure isn’t common. We spend more time analyzing the failures and critiquing the person failing. What would be a healthier way to deal with these situations in business? What if we picture failure as a stepping stone?
“To fail is deeply human—as is the capacity to inspect, learn from, and transcend failure. Ultimately, failures are the stumbling blocks on the proverbial path to success: The lessons they teach have implications for humility, maturity, and empathy.” (1) Everyone experiences a failure or two or three in their life. Let’s picture our failures as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks.
- Learn from your failures and make your learning public. Humility can be a quality that attracts others to take a risk next time.
- Show maturity and support others through their failures. Often what we, as onlookers, do after the failure is what defines the moment.
- Exhibit empathy for those that have failed. You know how failure feels. Cheer for their future success and show empathy for their current failure.
Consider these thoughts on failure. If you are inclined, please send your experiences and ideas. An interactive audience enables learning for us all. Remember it’s always better to Bring People Together than apart.