At the beginning of our lives we are praised for our failures. Learning to walk we fall again and again. Every time the people around us give us so much praise for trying. We know that we are going to walk and that is going to happen so, each fall (or failure) gets us closer to our goal. Whenever we show initiative towards trying something new, we are praised and pushed to keep working towards our goal.
Where this starts to change is school. The instant we get put in school, whether that is preschool or kindergarten, we are taught that failure is bad. You got 98 out of 100 possible points? You know, you should really focus on the two that you got wrong. You got all A’s except for one B? You should try harder next time. You ran a mile in four minutes and three seconds? You know, world class runners can do it in under four minutes. We are told repeatedly that every mistake that we make is bad, wrong and detrimental.
Then we go out into the world of work where if things do not work the first time, they are thrown out and we try something new. New strategies, tools, ideas and more have to work perfectly every single time or else we are in search of the new one that just might be able to do that. New employees keep their jobs as long as they are performing until they aren’t and then we continue that constant struggle to find the one who will hit the ground running and then somehow keep running faster.
So you might come to this blog and read about how to better motivate your employees, how to get your people to innovate, or how to effectively delegate and try something out once. Then it doesn’t work effectively, or it backfires and makes your day even harder. My advice is to keep going. Try again. Don’t be afraid to fail once you have your goal set. Failure is the best way to learn. Examine what happened and how you might be more successful the next time. Ask the person you are interacting with what their perception of the event was.
Even better, call me. At Dale Carnegie we can coach you to improve your performance, your team’s performance and your business’s performance. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Utilize us to make sure that you are not making bad habits permanent. Call me at 515.724.3163 or email me at Ryan dot Lynch at Dale Carnegie dot com.