Why Failure Is The Best Learning Tool Of All

Why Failure Is The Best Learning Tool Of All
Summary: Failure is an inseparable part of learning. While negative experiences can hurt a learner’s self-esteem and confidence, a career devoid of any failures is one where no learning or growth can possibly occur. This article discusses how learners can use failures as fuel to drive their learning.

Using Failures In Learning To Your Advantage

Failure is an inevitable yet essential part of learning, and that is not always a bad thing. But somehow over the years, failure has come to mean the end of learning, a dead-end of sorts, particularly because a failure in a learning program often leads to it being scrapped without second considerations. Instead, Learning and Development professionals must understand that failure should be an intentional part of learning design, whether it be traditional classroom training, eLearning or blended learning. Failure leads to discovery and innovation and can be the best learning tool of all if learners are taught about its inevitability and its ability to be a potential for greater learning. Thus, while failure is not the end goal, it is a milestone that learners must make the most of and use it to fuel their journey to success. This article is all about tips that allow learners to fail "well" while wringing the most learning out of each failure.

1. Know, Accept And Move On From Failure

Learners must learn to try their best while knowing that failure is a natural part of learning and that it will come. When it does, accept it and move on with continuing passion and energy while learning what caused it and not repeating the same mistake again.

2. Don’t Fear Failure

Fear of failure can cripple experimentation and innovation, which are really important components of learning as well as success. Never be afraid of trying things in a new way, and even if it results in failure, celebrate the fact that you learned not to use an approach. Treat all failures as learning experiences and adapt to the coming ones.

3. Learning Is Not An Outcome

A lot of learners treat learning as an outcome. Learning is a continuous process of which failures and mistakes are a part of. By treating it as a process (which it is) you always know that this not the first time you’ve made a mistake, and this is certainly not the last time you’ve made one. Treating it like an outcome leads to a mindset where you think that all you did was for nothing. But in life, as well as in your career, no learning ever goes to waste.

4. Learn To Smell Failure A Mile Off

Let’s face it, failure is not something which happens all of a sudden, and most of the time it is the product of multiple, small mistakes. By looking out for small mistakes and adapting in such a way as to prevent more mistakes, you can identify a failure from far off, and implement corrective measures before a catastrophic failure actually happens.

5. Use Failure As Motivation

Sometimes it is not so easy to pick up the pieces and move on after a failure. Every failure takes an emotional toll on a person, and bouncing back can be difficult. At such times, remember all your past failures, and how they have led you to become stronger and smarter than before. Remember times like when you were learning to ride a bike and you fell. Remember when you flunked a subject, which led you to study even harder the next time. Let failure motivate you to do better.

6. Share Your Failures With Others

Most people shy away from telling others that they failed. This is flawed thinking. By discussing your failure with others, you may gain insight into their failures and both of you can learn from each other's failures. Learn from the failures of others while giving them the opportunity to learn from yours.

Corporate organizations need to instill a mindset into their employees where failure is not considered as a dead-end, but a hurdle for the employees to jump over. When failure is acknowledged, encouraged and understood by the whole organization, learners will stop fearing it and start rising above it. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up.”

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