learning from mistakes

Nobody enters a new role or starts up a new business thinking they want to fail or make mistakes. Failure doesn’t fuel positive feelings, success does.

But making mistakes, embracing them and reaping value from them could prepare leaders and employees for new and bigger challenges – and encourage innovation, which is the cornerstone of success.

Here are some ways to help you embrace failure and the lessons it delivers.

1. Change your mindset around failure

Instead of pondering and stressing over a bad decision, which perpetuates a cycle of negative thoughts, flip your perception around to regard a mistake as a powerful tool for future success. Allowing yourself – and your team – to learn from failure, rather than be penalised for it, creates room for creative problem-solving and a sharper intuition for what will and won’t work down the line.

2. Own it when it happens

A bad decision or failed product launch is inevitable at some point in the lifetime of every leader and business, so being able to anticipate it, rather than believe it will never happen to you, will leave you better equipped to handle it, and own that mistake, when it does.

3. Turn it into an opportunity

Did you launch a new product or service and receive more backlash than constructive feedback? Rope in your team to analyse where things went wrong and why, and what can be done differently to improve it. Leverage it as an opportunity to come back stronger next time.

4. Use it to guide your staff

Most employees fear failure and the repercussions it may bring, which may end up stifling their creativity and drive to experiment. But if their boss is transparent about how they learned from failure, it encourages the rest of the team to take a leap of faith, which may lead to a great next discovery.

5. Look for the win in every loss

There’s a positive to take from every negative, you simply need to be willing to look for it. Rather than overthink what went wrong, find out what you gained and how that lesson will equip you for your next big move.

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