There are two ways to deal with someone who fails or makes a grave error at work. You can write them off, remove them from your team or even fire them. You can nurture their failure into a recovery. The best leaders choose the latter.
The Liberty Mutual Insurance commercial is a great reminder that we are human. We are fallible. We will make mistakes. Even though we all know this to be true we can be unforgiving. The most unforgiving are often those who have made the most mistakes. I don’t believe it is their fault though, they were taught to do that.
Leaders who nurture a failure into a recovery help people learn and grow. Doing this also teaches others to help people through a failure who will in turn teach others and so on. You cannot be discriminatory in your practice of this. In other words some people can’t be worth saving while others are based on your personal feelings of them. You must work to nurture the recovery of all your staff. Anything less than that could indicate a sign of weakness where you are using the failure as an excuse to let someone go when you probably should have done so for other reasons.
Some failures should be celebrated. If you have someone who doesn’t take risks or put themselves out in the spot light and finally does only to fail, celebrate it. Celebrate the effort, the lessons learned and encourage them to keep trying.
The next time one of your employee’s fail, nurture that failure through recovery. This is the best path for growth a leader can offer.
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