How to bounce back from failure

Here are the top tips from those who have been there.

How do we deal with failure? There are a number of ways, including embracing failure, building a personal brand and being mindful of managers weaponising your failure.

Here are the key takeaways about handling failure from an event last month organised by women's communications network Bloom.

You don’t need to be perfect

"Dealing with failure is what makes you who you are," Lisa Thomas, chief brand officer at Virgin, said. "I don’t look forward to failure, but I do embrace it. It builds your resilience and makes you a better human being; when you are leading an organisation, things can go wrong."

Success and failure are not absolute states

LinkedIn’s Andrew Monu believes there should be a shift away from seeing success or failure in an absolute sense. He explained: "I don’t think there is a binary existence between success and failure. I have had scenarios where some things have gone well and some haven’t, but I have focused on the thing that didn’t go well." Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, he urged the audience to look for lessons to be learned.

Build your own personal board

Susan Park, global product marketing lead for gaming at Facebook, underlined the importance of having a support network and bearing in mind that, on the whole, people are nicer than you think when you fail. She said: "When you fall down people, tend to want to help you, particularly when you are a nice person. I was glad failure happened so early in my career; fail more and tell people about it."

Be mindful of managers who will weaponise your failure

However, Park also warned the audience to be mindful of sharing their failures with every single manager. "Make sure your manager agrees you should openly talk about failure," she said. "I’ve had managers at very failure-centric companies weaponise that failure against me in performance reviews."

Nicola Kemp is managing editor of BITE at Creativebrief

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