Discussing Failure, Good Idea?
Fear of failure isn’t so much the problem. Fear of people that don’t understand failure is the issue.
Jeff Atwood of Coding Horrors offers an insightful post Fail fast, fail often.
After getting over the initial discomfort, I’m sure many people will be happy to talk over their failures and failings. I for one am my own worst critic. It would be nice to be able to get some outside opinion on what I think of myself. However, you have to put a lot of faith in whoever you talk to.
Personal failings and failures tends to be a lot easier to discuss with friends and family than professional failings with co-workers and the reporting leadership chain.
Why? Friends and family are typically supportive and it’s not a competition.
Discussing your professional failings will give colleagues the scent of blood. Pay reviews, also, are generally number crunching exercises. Talk up your successes to give yourself high numbers. Hiding your failings ensures they don’t come into the equation and to avoid inconsistencies means you can never bring them up.
That makes learning a bit difficult. And as Jeff rightly states, if you are not putting yourself into a position to fail it means you are thinking small, you are not stretching yourself as you should.
Talking of failure is a risk, it shouldn’t be, but it is. It is a question of confidence I guess. Do you have enough faith in yourself to expose your failures and demonstrate what you have learnt from it?
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