January 28: Leading a team through failure

Seven steps for bouncing back as a team after a failure.

Source: Harvard Business Review
Published: February 2015

Leading a team through failure

Moving past failure is hard for people, and even more difficult in a team environment. Leaders can help their group bounce back by taking time to vent, analyzing the problems, talking about the issues, then moving on together as a cohesive team.

Steps for bouncing back:

1. Control your emotions. Be genuine, but don’t pull everyone into a bad mood.

2. Give your team space. Let them be disappointed for a little while if needed.

3. Be clear about what went wrong. Don’t try to sugarcoat it.

4. Never point fingers. If certain people are at fault, speak with them privately.

5. Make a mood shift. Move on to planning better for the future after analyzing the issues.

6. Tell a story. Share a past mistake to help them see the learning potential.

7. Encourage collaboration. Discuss the lessons learned as a team and ways to improve.

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