The following are some of the myths about failure which you can use to help your team to change their perspective on failure.
Myth Number One: Failure is Avoidable
One of the most persistent myths about failure is that it somehow possible to avoid it. Everybody fails and make mistakes. If you are human, you are going to experience some failures. On the road to success your team will:
- Learn lessons.
- Find out there are no mistakes – only lessons.
- Find out lessons are repeated until they are learned.
- Find out that if they don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder.
- Know that they have learned a lesson when their actions change.
Myth Number Two: Failure is Objective
What determines whether some action is a failure? Is it the size of the problem it caused or the monetary cost. Or is it the heat from the boss or the criticism from peers? Only the team members themselves can really label something that they did as a failure. The team’s perception of and response to mistakes, can determine whether their actions were failures. It is important for your team not to see setbacks as failures. Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress.
Myth Number Three: Failure is the Enemy
Most teams are afraid of failure, but it takes adversity to create success. Teams that achieve don’t see a mistake as the enemy. If your team has permission to fail, they have permission to excel.
Myth Number Four: Failure is an Event
Failure is not a one time event, failure is a process. Success is also not a destination, but a journey that the team takes. Just as success is a process, so is failure a process. Failure is not a place your team arrives at, but how your team handles the challenges along the way.
Myth Number Five: Failure is Irreversible
Mistakes are not irreversible if your team is able to keep everything in perspective. Problems arise when your team only sees the spilled milk and not the big picture. Teams who correctly see failure, take it in stride. Every event, good or bad, is one small step in the process.
Myth Number Six: Failure is a Stigma
Mistakes are not permanent markers. When your team makes a mistake, they should not allow it to get them down. They must not allow it to become a stigma, but make each failure a step to success.
Myth Number Seven: Failure is Final
What appears to be a huge failure, doesn’t need to keep your team from achieving.
Source: Failing Forward, John C. Maxwell