6 Steps to use failure to motivate and make your team stronger

6 Steps to use failure to motivate and make your team stronger

Your team will experience failure from time to time. While we're taught from a young age that it's important to learn from our mistakes and that we have to fail before success can be achieved, many of us may still struggle to bounce back from our shortcomings. When this happens, citing motivational quotes and listening to inspirational speeches are not enough.

Here are better ways for you and your teammates to overcome failure together:

1. Control your emotions

Motivating your employees starts with you, the team leader. Your own attitude toward failure influences your team's ability to recover from it. Research indicates that a leader's moods have a great impact on their team members' emotions. So before you talk to your employees, make sure to deal with your disappointment and other negative emotions first. Here are some tips that might help:

  • Focus on your feelings. If you’re disappointed or sad, feel the emotion for a while, but make sure to let go of it after.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat and sleep well, and exercise regularly. The better you take care of yourself, the easier it is to feel more positive.
  • Talk it out. Everyone feels negative emotions from time to time. Talking it out with a close friend or relative helps you keep those thoughts in perspective.

2. Give employees space

When your employees make mistakes, allow them to wallow in disappointment and other negative feelings for a while. According to psychologists, going through negative emotions help the brain process tough emotional situations, make sense of confusing signals, and block off our experience of empathy that could distract us from achieving our own goals. All of these can help your team process and analyze their failure more effectively.

So instead of just sweeping negativity under the rug, acknowledge your team’s disappointment with comments such as “This a tough time for us” or “We’re feeling down today.” Doing so not just validates your team’s emotions, but it also facilitates a critical assessment of the situation.

3. Be transparent about what happened

To resolve the issue more efficiently, it’s important to be clear about what went wrong. So instead of saying “We made a mistake,” say “The client was not satisfied because we didn’t plan properly,” or “We lost the trust of a few loyal customers because the team failed to secure the server against malware attacks.” Giving negative feedback may be difficult, but your employees will appreciate your transparency with them.

4. Avoid pointing fingers

Instead of focusing on who was responsible for the mistake and attacking their character, it’s better to pay attention to what went wrong. Let your employees understand how the mistake happened and how they can avoid repeating it in the future. Providing feedback regularly softens the blow of receiving negative criticism and helps employees become more receptive.

5. Share your stories

One way to help employees move on is by telling them about a mistake you made in the past. Share what you went through, what you learned from it, and how you used the experience to grow as an employee and as a person.

If you don’t have a story or don’t feel comfortable sharing one, see if anyone from your team wants to share. Telling such stories not only helps employees realize the importance of failures, but it also fosters trust and goodwill among the team, which will lead to improved interaction and collaboration.

6. Look ahead

It’s important to stop analyzing the failure and look ahead into the future. After a few days, call for a meeting to review what everyone learned from the experience and what everyone will do moving forward. Use a positive and encouraging tone to lighten everyone’s mood and facilitate a healthy discussion.

While a humanistic approach is ideal for helping your team recover from failure, IT failures require a more technological approach, one that requires the technical expertise of the IT specialists at Complete Document Solutions. We’ll provide fast IT assistance and get to the root of every problem, so your company will always operate efficiently. If your business is in Torrance, Los Angeles, or Long Beach, request a FREE IT assessment today.

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