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Failure Is Your Friend: Embracing the Messy Bits
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Failure Is Your Friend: Embracing the Messy Bits

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  • More about this workshop here: http://www.workingexamples.org/blog/show/83
    and here: http://schedule.sxswedu.com/events/event_EDUP17330
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  • 1. failure is your friend: embracing the messy bits
  • 2. anna roberts @wranglecreative jolene zywica @jolenezywica courtney francis @cfrancisrun working examples @workingexamples
  • 3. introduction definitions and assumptions prepping for failure introduction, reflect and share recovering from failure introduction and share bringing it home
  • 4. our assumptions you believe in the value of failure you’re interested in exploring your experience with failure you’re ready to be a bit brave
  • 5. what does failure mean to you? Not achieving your ideal or desired outcomes Falling short Disappointing someone Not getting the results you expected Not measuring up Not doing what is expected of you Floundering Making a mistake or misstep Not being “successful” Forgetting do to something Looking bad Not holding it together Procrastinating – not starting something Being sub-par Creating something that doesn’t work Hurting someone Not advancing to the next level Overlooking something or someone Slipping up Fizzling out
  • 6. definition #1: quality world picture our fantasy of success vs. real world
  • 7. the idea in practice: create a fallible picture of yourself 1. turn to your neighbor 2. share an “oops” moment that happened recently 3. laugh about it
  • 8. definition #2: resilience our ability to recover from tragedy, trauma, failure or risk
  • 9. remember: embracing failure is a process it starts small it doesn’t always feel good (but it gets easier) no one is ever great at it (but you get better)
  • 10. embracing failure before you start: building your world picture
  • 11. building your world picture recognize it Are you feeling stuck? Frustrated? Having a hard time getting started? What are you struggling with? Recognize what’s getting in the way or what you’re afraid of. Give it name. deconstruct it Analyze your world picture. What exactly are you afraid of? What’s the worst that could happen? The best? How realistic are those outcomes? What can you reasonably control? relax Give yourself permission to explore and learn. Focus on adjusting your picture. plan Build a strategy. What support do you need? Who can help? baby steps Figure out first steps. Take one. Take another.
  • 12. reflect on your own (3 minutes) Think about a time you were worried about failing – big or small (just think about the experience, but don’t judge it) What were some of your fears? What’s the worst that could have happened? How did it make you feel? How did your fear/worry manifest itself? How did you approach the problem? Who did you ask for help, if anyone? What might you have done differently?
  • 13. share in small groups (10 minutes) Thinking about these tools, how could have your experience been different? Do any of these steps resonate strongly with you? What steps or tools might you add? recognize it Are you feeling stuck? Frustrated? Having a hard time getting started? What are you struggling with? Recognize what’s getting in the way or what you’re afraid of. Give it a name. deconstruct it Analyze your world picture. What exactly are you afraid of? What’s the worst that could happen? The best? How realistic are those outcomes? What can you reasonably control? relax Give yourself permission to explore and learn. Focus on adjusting your picture. plan Build a strategy. What support do you need? Who can help? baby steps Figure out first steps. Take one. Take another.
  • 14. ideas & strategies from the group Additional ideas from the participants of our SXSWedu workshop slow down In our fast-paced world, we forget to slow down so that we can make good decisions. Take some time to ponder solutions, think things over or prepare before acting. do a “pre-mortem” Prepare by looking forward and identifying what might go wrong. Are there areas where challenges are likely to arise? Make a plan that will account for predictable failures or potential issues. remember that things will go wrong Set the expectation (for yourself and others) that there will be bumps in the road so you’re less likely to get derailed if things go wrong. perfect is the enemy of good Don’t get paralyzed by perfectionism. Doing ANYTHING is better than doing nothing; just get yourself started.
  • 15. embracing failure after the fact: practicing resilience
  • 16. practicing resilience recognize it Admit it. What happened? How are you feeling about it (scared, frustrated, embarrassed, angry)? feel it Don’t move past it yet, give yourself space to feel all the yuck. Nurture yourself. Find a support system. reflect What happened? What might you have done differently? What can you learn from in this situation? How can you make this into something positive? Find mentors to help you do this work. next steps Based on what you’ve learned, what changes could help you be more successful next time? What can you do to prepare? What (if anything) do you need to do to “recover” from your failure?
  • 17. share in small groups (10 minutes) Which of these steps resonate strongly with you? How have you used these to recover from a past failure? Or how might you have used them? Are there other strategies that you might add to the list? recognize it Admit it. What happened? How are you feeling about it (scared, frustrated, embarrassed, angry)? feel it Don’t move past it yet, give yourself space to feel all the yuck. Nurture yourself. Find a support system. reflect What happened? What might you have done differently? What can you learn from in this situation? How can you make this into something positive? Find mentors to help you do this work. next steps Based on what you’ve learned, what changes could help you be more successful next time? What can you do to prepare? What (if anything) do you need to do to “recover” from your failure?
  • 18. ideas & strategies from the group Additional ideas from the participants of our SXSWedu workshop apologize Recognize when you need to make amends. Was there someone(s) you hurt, toes that were stepped on? Saying sorry is hard but will build trust with people and help you all move on together. look for support Who can help you successfully recover from your failure? Look for people you trust to support you emotionally, give you honest feedback, and help you plan your next steps. focus on what worked How can you turn this negative experience into a positive one? What did you gain from the experience? Are there things you learned or new relationships that might help you in the future? move past it Don’t dwell for too long or be harder on yourself than the failure warrants. Letting yourself off the hook is an important part of moving forward.
  • 19. tips for bringing it home these steps are a set of tools, not a prescription remember, it’s a process creating a culture of failure starts with YOU supporting others in failure is great practice BE BRAVE!
  • 20. bringing it home: open share How are you thinking about using these ideas in your life, classroom, work, etc.? How might you support your colleagues or students to help them become more resilient?
  • 21. ideas & strategies from the group Additional ideas from the participants of our SXSWedu workshop teach (and model) resilience It’s very important as a leader, teacher or team member to model embracing and talking about failures. Teach resilience by presenting failure as natural (and inevitable). support your team Talk through your team’s strengths and weaknesses before failure occurs so you can focus energy in the right place and seek the best support for your team if failure does happen. avoid finger pointing Casting blame breaks down trust and doesn’t allow people to acknowledge or work through failure. culture shift is slow Some situations will require a shift in thinking in order for people to embrace these values. Be patient and model your own work to demonstrate the value of failure.
  • 22. to get these slides tweet us: @workingexamples find them on our blog: www.workingexamples.org/blog

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