Every business wants to be super successful, but we often send the wrong messages about what that means. We simultaneously tell people they need to be perfect and be innovative and creative. Well you guys, you can’t have both. If you work in an environment that has no tolerance for failure, then you and your team can’t be innovative and creative.
Know Better, Do Better
One of my favorite phrases is “Know Better, Do Better,” just because others have done it or said it doesn’t mean we need to encourage it. You can support the vision and messages you are being given without passing on the exact phrases to your team. Sometimes you have to understand the message that wasn’t delivered in words.
I don’t believe our companies try to confuse us, I think they don’t understand cause and effect they are having on the people. If you have a team, it is your responsibility to protect them. Do not let someone tell you there is zero room for failure and turn around and expect your team to be the most productive.
It is your job to ensure you don’t set your team up for failure by having conflicting priorities. Goals need to work together. One of my favorite authors Brene Brown recently touched on this in her Netflix special Brene Brown the Call to Courage.
Create a Tolera
nce for Failure
Sometimes you will need to protect your team members from themselves, you need to question and pull out the unsaid pieces of difficult situations and conversations. If someone is chatting with you, read their non-verbal queues and ask the tough questions. Sometimes they need your guidance to stay positive and understand what is really bothering them so they can be successful.
I’ve had conversations with team members about leaving my team. We have talked about personal life situations and everyone knows what is expected of them. Build enough of a relationship with your group that they want to help you. Then create a successful and inspiring work environment for them to so the greatest work in.
You need to create a tolerance for failure within the expectations you have for your team. If your executive leadership or company has zero tolerance for failure and is giving you conflicting goals, you need to create a safe place to allow for failure without placing blame on those who tried. This is easier said than done, but can be accomplished.
Great leaders will figure out ways to give the team members opportunities to express themselves. I have found team meetings can be an excellent place for this. Ask the group for a goal they can all work towards. Or a side project the team can dedicate small amounts of time towards that will make an impact on their daily tasks. Allow them time to try new things while minimizing the failure effect.
The failure effect is when someone gets so focused on one failure of one person, they can’t see beyond it. I’ve had this happen several times with team members. Someone makes a mistake and all anyone ever remembers about them is that one mistake. Take that pain by protecting the team member. While you may know who made a mistake, take the blame, so they don’t have to.
Wrapping Up – Tolerance for Failure
Now that you know it’s ok to fail, you need to do what you can to help others understand this is a necessary part of the learning process. Helping people set goals and figure out how to accomplish them is a great start.
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