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fail happy

How to ensure your team ‘fail happy’

1 min read

According to the dictionary, failure is ‘a lack of success’. Yet science tells us that failure is actually a catalyst for success, because overcoming failure teaches resilience. In other words, when we come back from failure, we reflect, improve, and become more confident in our own abilities.

Celebrating failures as a method of improvement allows successes to become more obtainable. The less vulnerable people feel, the more innovative and creative they will be.

That being said, many of today’s workplaces don’t encourage people to have a healthy relationship with failure. By fostering a negative approach to failure, you’re inevitable fostering a negative approach to creativity, innovation and productivity within your team, for fear of failing.

At HappyHQ we love to apply the term ‘FAIL HAPPY’ which suggests that failures are seen as opportunities to learn, and explore new ways of doing things.  This removes the barriers of shame, embarrassment and fear and allows people to fully embrace new and innovative ideas regardless of the outcome.

To help normalise failure in the workplace, we’ve put together some ways to help your team fail happy:

  • Build a learning culture. Failures aren’t isolated incidents, so make it a positive conversation by openly discussing what could be learnt in a productive way.
  • Lead by Example. Let people know it’s ok to fail by sharing your own stories of falling short. This will provide psychological safety amongst the team and encourage people to own their future failures.
  • Create a no blame culture. Shift the focus from who did it, to what happened. Effective team dynamic is an environment where everyone is accountable.
  • Keep the conversation going. Introduce ‘weekly failings’ as part of your normal team meetings and conversations. That way people won’t feel singled out or embarrassed.

Failure is a by-product of innovation, and you can’t have one without the other. In order to embrace one, you must also embrace the other. So, remember failing isn’t the end results, it’s just part of the process!

HappyHQ helps companies easily recognise, implement, and sustain important culture changes. We help companies unlock their happiness potential by taking the science behind human flourishing and applying it in practical ways.

For more information get in touch with one of the team at HappyHQ.co.uk