Disruption and change are a given, how you chose to respond is not. The good news is, you can strengthen your resilience quota to withstand the disruptions that you’ll encounter as a leader. It’s important to develop strategies for bouncing back better, wiser and, stronger with each failure or mistake that you’ll make. Living into your full capacity, and leveraging your gifts and talents is bound to bring a few failures along your leadership journey. So, building your resilience quota is a must for your long-term, sustainable leadership success.
This is part 4 of the 5-part series on Leadership Resilience by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Both self-awareness and political awareness are key to developing better resilience. Click To Tweet
When it comes to developing better resilience in the face of uncertainty and failures, both self-awareness and political awareness are key.
Whereas self-awareness helps you understand the messages you’re sending, political awareness helps you understand the messages others are receiving. It requires you to know how your organization defines, explains and assigns responsibility for failure, as well as how the system allows for remedial attempts.
When I’m coaching executives, we work on developing political savvy. Political awareness involves finding the best approach to owning your mistakes and those who report to you within your specific organization, department and role.
Once you’ve become more aware of your failure response style, you can begin moving toward more open, vulnerable, and adaptive behaviors.
Business consultants Ben Dattner and Robert Hogan suggest several effective steps in “Can You Handle Failure?” (Harvard Business Review, April 2011).
Practice these strategies the next time mistakes and failures present challenges:
Listen and communicate
Most of us forget to gather enough feedback and information before reacting, especially when it comes to bad news. Never assume you know what others are thinking or that you understand them until you ask good questions.
Reflect on both the situation
and the people
We’re good at picking up patterns and making assumptions. Discipline yourself to pause and be curious about how each situation is unique and has context.
Think before you act
Pause and take time to respond vs. reacting. You don’t have to respond immediately or impulsively.
Search for a lesson
Look for nuance and context. Sometimes a colleague or a group is at fault, sometimes you are, and sometimes no one is to blame. Create and test hypotheses about how and why the failure occurred to develop a strategy to diminish the likelihood from it happening again.
What strategies have you used to bounce back from failure? What has or had not worked for you? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment.