Not yet: You didn’t fail, you just haven’t passed yet
Beyond intelligence and talent
Praise the process and effort, strategies and focus, perseverance and improvement (Dweck, 2014). This develops something called the growth-mindset. It creates resilience. It also shifts our focus from praise to process.
Young companies adopting this approach are refreshing. These places do not punish someone’s failure. Instead, they reward initiative and resourcefulness. They are disrupting industries and blazing trails.
Don’t praise intelligence and talent. That has failed.
Praising intelligence is detrimental. People turn to cheating, point fingers, or find people who they deem are worse than they are. It feeds the impostor syndrome; and the impostor takes every chance he or she gets to manipulate anyone who listens. Relying on talent alone is no more helpful because sooner or later, ego could get in the way.
In social contexts and many other life settings, someone who is smart or can fake smarts remain in control. It’s not sustainable. History demonstrates the consequences of such folly.
Business value does not equal bottom-line
At work, and in a majority cases outside work, generating value does not mean taking home more financial rewards. Value also lies in the learning that takes place, the goodwill generated, the social repercussions, and the long-term implications of an undertaking.
If you make mistakes, that’s ok. If you are rejected, that’s ok. If it’s not working out, that’s ok too. All these just mean, not yet. You didn’t fail.
Dweck, C. (2014) The power of believing that you can improve [Video]. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve/transcript.