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Learn From your Mistakes

Learn From Your Mistakes

Learn From Your Mistakes

For most people, one of the most difficult things to do is to accept criticism from other people. Most people's attitude to criticism is "Who are you to tell me what is right and wrong?"

But you should welcome criticism. Criticism is good for you. Criticism is a high value item. If you cannot, will not or do not accept valid criticism, then you will never grow much beyond your present level of development.

Criticism is negative feedback

Most people, upon hearing a criticism of their performance or work, have a negative emotional response. That response to the criticism will take one of three common forms; they may get annoyed or angry, they may get upset and disheartened, or they may get aggressive.

The correct response to criticism is not to get angry, not to get upset, not to argue, but instead, to get curious! When you hear a criticism of your performance, get curious and then take the following steps:

  1. Listen carefully to the negative feedback message, the criticism.
  2. Thank the other person for their critical comments.
  3. Then ask yourself if the criticism is true, or at least partially true.
  4. If it is true, or partially true, think what it means for your future.
  5. Think about what adaptive changes you need to make in relation to that specific incident.
  6. Then make a universal refinement in your general approach to your work, to improve your future chances of success.

By doing this you will learn from your mistakes.

Learn From Failure

It is true that most successes are preceded by large amounts of failure. Most worthwhile goals are difficult assignments. Since nobody is born with innate knowledge then, in order to succeed, you must first learn the lessons from your earlier mistakes.

Children learn rapidly by attempting, failing, modifying their behaviour, and trying again and again. Learning by incremental steps, continually improving and re-testing their skills, failing, learning the lesson, changing their approach, trying again, failing again, learning a bit more, trying again, failing, trying again, winning! Kids are relentless, fearless learners. And they learn from their failed attempts.

Then something strange happens. Kids become teenagers and then adults, and they begin to dread failing. They become more concerned with looking-cool, in front of their friends. Failure becomes something to be avoided. The failure may even be recorded and posted on social media for the whole world to see. Failure can be painful and costly.

So, step by step we retreat away from the concept of failure. We figure that the best way to avoid looking stupid or inept is to not even try. Or to keep repeating what we already know and to resist any change.

Avoiding failure by not even trying, or by sticking religiously to outdated methods, and refusing to adapt, is a common means of committing ultimate failure.

Win by Losing

You must understand that you can only win, by losing and learning the lessons that can only be learned by tasting failure.

Train to Fail

Weightlifters and body builders build strength by a process known as "training to failure". They keep adding weight to the barbell, until they fail. What would happen if the weightlifter only ever attempted weights that he knew he could already easily lift, would he make progress? Absolutely not.

Champions become champions by continually training to failure. It is training to failure that stimulates an adaptive-response, ie an increase in size, strength, endurance and ability.

Accept the challenge of failure

Become like a child again and be prepared to learn super-fast.

Remember, failure is an integral prerequisite to success.

Accept that progress is sometimes preceded by pain.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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