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  • Kick Ass Zombie Hunter

Experiment with Failure

Origami crane surrounded by crumbled balls of paper

The excitement of the holidays is long past. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the weather is still dreary. Perhaps you’ve already given up on at least one of your resolutions. It’s clear that the shine of a new year has worn off.


Why not take a note from Rae Ringel, president of The Ringel Group, and give Fail Fast February a go with your team?


Encourage your team to stretch their boundaries and try new things with the express permission (and in some cases, expectation) to fail.


At the beginning of each week this month, ask team members what they are willing to attempt that week that might fail (big or small). Ask them what type of support or encouragement they might need from you or others on the team.


On the next Monday, bring everyone back together to talk about their failure experiments. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, what they learned, what they’d do differently next time, and what they would tell someone else who was going to attempt what they did. And then start the process all over again.


You can invite the team to tackle new things both at work and home.

Use the Fail Fast February worksheet below to get your team started.

Download the worksheet:

Fail+Fast+Experiment
.pdf
Download PDF • 847KB

Giving team members permission to fail and facilitating conversations around failure helps boost autonomy and psychological safety. As they get used to trying new things and accessing their successes and misses, they will build confidence in their abilities.


Don’t forget to be the first to fail by running your own experiments and sharing your experiences with your team so they know you walk your talk.


To help kickstart your Fail Fast February, use the questions below to start the discussion around failure.

 

A TEAM HUMAN CONVERSATION

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being ‘Very uncomfortable’ and 10 being ‘Very comfortable’, how comfortable are you with failure?

  2. What makes you comfortable or uncomfortable with failure?

  3. Describe a time when you failed but felt good about the result. What allowed you to feel that way? Describe a time when you failed and felt bad about the result. What made you feel that way?

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