5 Ways to Turn Failures at Work into Life Lessons

Failures at Work

Failures at Work

Mistakes are inevitable. Not only are they an essential part of being an adult. They are also responsible for some of the most brilliant inventions known to mankind.

When you find yourself facing the occasional slipup and experiencing some failures at work, instead of getting frustrated, let this lift you up taller and help make you a better person.

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Below are some of the ways you can turn workplace failures into character-building learning experiences.

Turn Failures at Work Into Lessons

1. Don’t Stress Over The Little Things

It’s the little things in life that bring us joy, but it’s also quite often other little things that push us over the edge. It’s impossible to rule out every sliver of stress present in your life, but how you handle it can make all the difference.

Instead of mentally breaking down over the accidental deletion of your boss’s recent email memo or similar failures at work, take a deep breath and put that energy into finding a solution. Who knows? You might just find it in your email trash folder.

If not, a co-worker might be happy to forward you their copy.

2. Don’t Blame Others For Your Mistakes

Pinning your flub-up on someone else, especially another coworker, creates nothing but tension and fosters mistrust in the workplace.

As cliché as it may sound, heeding this advice is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you make a mistake. To avoid conflict and mistreatment among your coworkers and with your boss, it’s best to be truthful.

Honesty really is the best policy.

If your responsibility is to provide the abstract for a team project but you’re unable to make the deadline, don’t blame it on another teammate or an imaginary personal struggle.

Owning up to your mistake will help build trust with your colleagues and demonstrate to them that you’re not only willing to fix whatever mishap you may have caused. You’re also willing to admit your faults.

3. View Situations From Multiple Perspectives

A scientist tests the same hypothesis multiple times using various techniques. Rather than giving up when his initial experiment fails, he finds a new way to test his hypothesis. Use the scientific method: Instead of getting hung up on your next failure, don’t surrender — seek to explore new ways to approach the task at hand.

Tip: If one of your mistakes has you stumped, try reading a book. Multiple studies have shown that reading fiction improves brain connectivity and allows the reader to visualize a situation from multiple perspectives.

4. Help Your Coworkers Find a Solution

When you have made a mistake or some failures at work, don’t just rely on the rest of your team to get it resolved. Cooperating with your coworkers can help alleviate everyone’s stress and provide a valuable learning lesson in the process.

By crowdsourcing the solution, you might discover valuable tips and tricks to avoid mistakes and find new ways you can work together under pressure.

5. Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. Taking on too much work can often lead to high levels of stress, which in turn can lead to an increased likelihood of making mistakes.

You may be surprised at how willing your coworkers are to help you accomplish a task — especially if you have helped them in the past.

If you know you’ve made a mistake but are unsure how to fix it, ask someone who has been in a similar situation, position, or role for advice. Or, if you’re afraid you might make a mistake, soliciting input from a more experienced coworker can relieve the stress of having to face a frustrated superior.

Failure isn’t failure if you’ve learned something in the process. So, the next time you slip up and make some failures at work — take a breath, count to 10, and try again.

Spilled Milk Photo via Shutterstock

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Amy Blackburn Amy Blackburn is a writer for Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, a nationwide leader in employee recognition gift card programs based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Amy stresses the importance of relationships with clients as the key to continued success.

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