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Allow Learning Through Failure

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 17, 2009

Many business leaders say they coach employee performance as a part of their day-to-day routine. We know by observing sporting events that coaches do many things while the game is being played. Think about a coach’s responsibilities:

• A coach provides motivation.

• A coach designs and communicates the playbook.

• A coach organizes and orchestrates effective practice.

• A coach administers appropriate discipline.

However, in the normal playing of the game, the coach never participates on the field of play. The coach may contribute verbally and nonverbally from the sidelines, but he or she never plays a position during the event.

Do you routinely take your employees’ work from them when they don’t perform just as you would? Learning is accelerated when employees are taught to solve their own problems with instruction, direction, and demonstration and then allowed to practice until they learn to perform with excellence.

In the world of business we often take away our employees’ ability to find achievement in a job well done by being too impatient to allow accelerated learning to occur through failure. Certainly there are some risks too large to take when allowing employee failure. Coaches measure progress and steadily assign more responsibility to their employees as they move toward excellence.

Charlie Fewell
Charlie Fewell & Associates

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