Three Ways Your Team Can Bounce Back From Failure

Setbacks will happen, so learn how to bounce back.

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Don’t let failure get in between your team and success. Lift your team up after anything goes horribly wrong with these three strategies, compiled with the help of, meant to help your team grow stronger than ever while overcoming failure.

1) Culture

When you look at a failure, it is often true that many people want to start pointing fingers. However, the important thing is to find the truth. Sometimes, this takes a lot of digging. Sometimes, you’ve created a culture of honesty where people will fess up to their mistakes because they feel comfortable enough to do so. Acknowledging mistakes should be a part of your company culture so that when mistakes happen, people can learn and grow from them. “Executives need to start by acknowledging their own fallibility. Sharing a few personal failures, especially where they demonstrate how some ultimately contributed to future successes, encourages others to be more open, sooner, about potential failures-in-the-making,” co-authors John Danner and Mark Coopersmith recently recommended in a Wall Street Journal piece.

2) Learn

When your team is bouncing back from a failure, it is vital that they learn there is always something to take away from the failure. Craig Mullaney, Rhodes Scholar graduate of West Point, says, “No one is ever in the same battle-people come to the after action review with conflicting memories.” However, these conflicting memories are okay. You can compile the memories, and still take away what needs to be taken away. “You don’t need to have a perfect version of the truth to learn from it.” You just need to be able to look back on what happened and see that there is something to be learned.

3) Good Cop, Bad Cop

What employees frequently need to understand is that Good Cop is going to be at the meeting right next to Bad Cop. While there will be expectations set after a failure so that it does not happen again, meetings following failures are not, “a blame game or finger-pointing exercise. It’s a learning process.” When you are in any business, there is always going to be some element of failure involved. If you can reassure your employees that they will learn from the failures together, that you talk about failures to learn and improve, they will undoubtedly begin to get more out of the meetings following failures. “There’s always room for improvement. The only way to improve is by reflecting honestly on what happened.” Honesty really only comes from a place of security, so find that place with your employees.



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Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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