Join Mike Figliuolo for an in-depth discussion in this video Celebrating success and accepting failure, part of Building High-Performance Teams.
Success and failure are part of running a team day to day. You need to recognize and promote "wins" because it's going to build momentum for the team and make them feel like they're accomplishing great things. And when they fail, you need to accept that failure as a learning opportunity and help the team grow. In terms of celebrating success, there are a lot of great ways to acknowledge success. You can give people bonuses, provide them visibility opportunities, maybe do some public recognition, you can give people increased responsibilities, and even promotions, and all of those are very effective ways to celebrate success of your team members.
But remember, just because you think something is valuable doesn't mean the team member will. You need to understand what personally motivates them, and then reward them accordingly. Because if you're not thoughtful about it, something you think is a reward is going to be horrible from that person's perspective. For example, if you have somebody on your team who is very introverted, and you decide that you're going to take their success and celebrate it by putting that person on stage, in front of a large audience, and telling them, "Here's your great opportunity to shine "and share your initiative with "50 people in the room!" That introvert might really hate that situation, and they'll feel very uncomfortable.
And even though you thought you were rewarding them in celebrating their success, you've turned it into a bad experience. Or, for example, you have somebody who's very happy in their current role, they like their level of responsibilities because it allows them to have a proper work/life balance, and you decide they're doing such a great job, and you want to celebrate that success, so you're going to give them a promotion with more responsibilities. Now they're pulling their hair out, and they're very stressed out and unhappy because they really enjoyed their old role, and that promotion isn't a way to celebrate success.
It's actually a punishment. So as you're thinking about celebrating success for your people, put yourself in their shoes and ask, "What would that individual really value?" Be sure that you communicate that success to the rest of the team. It helps build momentum, and creates a culture of winning among those team members. People will feel proud to be associated with their teammates, who are doing such great things. Now, as much as we like to celebrate success, there are going to be failures, and they're not fun, and they can derail a team if you don't handle that failure well.
When there is failure, the first thing is, avoid blame, and turn it into a learning opportunity. This is not about the individual. This is not personal. This is about behaviors, and this is about choices we made that didn't work out well. And find the opportunity to turn those into lessons learned, and think through how future actions can be taken that will help you avoid these failures the next time around.
Some principles around dealing with failure. First, fail as a team. Deconstruct the failure, and understand what the root causes were. Identify all the places where the team could've improved. If it was a process failure, or failure to provide information from one team member to another. Try never to make it about the individual, and instead, look at the processes that the team is following, and where those broke down. Next, even when there's failure, praise people for taking a risk because we're always making risk reward trade-offs.
And if you're not encouraging people to take risks, you're going to get that risk averse culture where people are paralyzed and won't make decisions, and if they're not making decisions, you're not going to get that upside. So, when you talk about failure, help people appreciate, "Here is the risk we took. "Here's what we thought the odds were. "And then here was the result, and it didn't "work out well, and here were the actual odds. "So next time around, how do we do this better?" So praise the risk taking, and then think about how you can reduce that risk in future situations.
So your job as a leader, in terms of success and failure, is making sure that you celebrate those successes, and all forms of success, every opportunity you get. Do so in a way that's going to be targeted to the individual you're trying to reward. And when there's failure, avoid making it about the individual, and instead, focus on, "What are the things "that we as a team did wrong, and what can we "do differently the next time?" And taking that healthy approach, and balance between success and failure, will continue to build momentum for your team, and keep team members engaged and excited.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Creating a compelling vision and mission for your team
- Understanding the resources your team needs to succeed
- Recruiting the right people
- Balancing workload
- Setting goals
- Empowering people
- Resolving conflict
- Building bench strength and succession plans<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.