Let’s make a mistake!

One thing that i always try to inspire my kids to do is to make a mistake. I actively encourage them to try whatever they’re doing (within reason, of course!) and make as many mistakes as possible. Why? Do i want them to fail? No. I want them to learn that failure is something to be embraced as a learning opportunity and shouldnt be feared or worried about.

With my children, I’ll always allow them to try, fail and try again. My motto that i give them every day is: try their best. Even if they fail, as long as they’ve tried, then I’ll be proud of them. They don’t need to be the best, just their best. What has this given them? Well, it’s told them that no matter if they fail, I’ll still be there and I’ll be actively trying to help them succeed or look for different ways to do something. Most recently, we were planting vegetables outside and my eldest (6yrs), said she wanted to try and put the soil in one way. I let her (even though I knew what would happen) and when she added too much soil for the pot, she could then look at what happened, work out how to correct it and then solved the issue herself. I could have interjected, i could have told her to stop filling the pot, but then how would she learn how to fix it? Or the trial and error for how much soil is too much?

Courtesy of Mindful.Brains

When it comes to work, and my professional career, I’ve challenged my team to be agile and “fail fast, learn quicker” in all of their activities. This could be:

  • Trying a different meeting style or format
    • E.g. stand up instead of a formal 1hr status update
    • Removing the meeting altogether
  • Challenging the team on how they’re working
  • Trying out a different working methodology
    • This could be at a different site, working in a different way
  • Use different tooling
    • What new collaborative tool could help us with our work? Could we try it for a period of time/sprint?
  • Changing their working style
    • Are they an early riser? Late starter? Do they like working alone or with others? Mix it up and see if you like anything differently

I’m not doing this to catch anyone out or as a performance metric. I’m doing this to see how we can work better, what might work better in this new working environment and if we can be even better collaborators and colleagues.

I would like to challenge you today. What can you fail at? Let me know in the comments!

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