We were about 5 minutes into the coaching session. My client began to express her disappointment with herself and her performance the past week.
“It has been a stressful week. After all the work we’ve done together these past three months, I had a really rough week. I let it get the best of me. The stress was high and it was like I forgot everything I have learned.”
Over the next 30-40 minutes we discussed her week. As she began to connect principles with her behavior she saw the stuff that got in her way; how she had been held back from her goal: to be an effective leader as the vice-president in the company. Not only did she have her personal duties and direct reports but international responsibilities, too. They had just identified four key initiatives. No doubt about it, the work load was intense and yes, her department was running lean on man-power.
As the coaching conversation continued she made more connections around her behavior. As she related one story – perceived as a “failure” I stopped her by asking, “What did you do different (in that situation); how would you have handled that 4 months ago?” You see, she actually did well supporting, empowering, setting expectations and delegating a significant assignment to one of her direct reports.
But she didn’t notice.
She was so focused on her “failure” in an unproductive way that she didn’t see where her performance was successful. What does that look like in your world?
Then I made the observation, “Failure is used against most people; but when properly processed, failure can be used for people, for you. Remember, the best predictor of future success is the ability and willingness to learn and change achieved through consistent reflection on truth delivered by experience, feedback, success, and failure.
Failure will be used against you unless you use it for you through consistent reflection.”
What’s your response to “failure”? How do you focus on your “failure”? Do you embrace it or hide from it?
You can embrace “failure” when you engage in consistent reflection aware that failure will help you succeed if you are listening. Instead of “beating yourself up” you can learn and change by what you now recognize as truth about yourself which leads to freedom.
Consistent reflection is about space; time and place and tools.
Time – When you do you slow down to think? Review? Remember?
Place – Where do you go to have some uninterrupted space to think, review, and remember?
Tools – Do you have a journal? …a place to capture your thoughts, life lessons, and process what is going on inside your head?
Consistent reflection allows you the opportunity to embrace “failure” instead of run from it into the Land of Insanity. That’s right, where people keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. (Thanks Albert, that’s a great line!)
How will you use your “failure”to serve your personal growth?