Very few of us enjoy experiencing failure in the workplace, however we all know that it is inevitable. At least once in our career, we will experience a project or a decision that doesn’t go as planned and we must accept the consequences. Often, it is how we deal with failure which makes us more successful as we learn from mistakes. Failure doesn’t have to be all negative, in fact, we can indeed gain from failure. If you’d like to learn what you can potentially gain from your mistakes at work – read below.
Failure in the workplace can go one of two ways – you can either buckle under the pressure, or you can accept it and come back stronger. Resilience is one of the wonderful things you can gain from failure, as it teaches us to have a thicker skin, and to not sweat the small stuff. Due to the regular occurrences of unsuccessful or failed projects in the workplace, those who are able to bounce back from failure are likely to become more successful in the long run.
2. Increased knowledge
Those who have experienced project failure will be in better standing to make more effective decisions in the future. If you use failure to your advantage, you will be able to analyse what worked, and what didn’t work in the previous instance. As W.C Fields says – “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. More often than not, the valuable knowledge gained from the past failure will help you to succeed the second time around.
3. Staffing and delegation skills
Often, failure occurs when there is not enough staff to complete the job properly, or when tasks have been delegated to the wrong people. As a manager experiencing failure, you must look back and analyse whether you delegated properly, or if the tasks could have been better distributed in your team. Whilst this is a minor component, the team which lead you to this failure could be the reason why it occurred in the fist place. It is a great idea to sit down and evaluate which skills were needed for success, and which skills let you down.
4. Increased motivation
With resilience comes increased motivation, and this can be one of the best things that we can gain from failure. When we don’t succeed the first time, many of us use this failure as drive to do better the next time. This is one of the best ways you can embrace failure, and will be a great credit to your character. Remember, failure is inevitable, and it is those who rise above it with increased drive who will succeed.
What do you think?
Can you suggest any other areas which we can experience a gain from failure? Whilst it is an unpleasant feeling, we must embrace the positives which arise from it and learn from them. I would love to hear how you have built your failures into positives – join the conversation below.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.