Failure – does it sound like something bad and scary to you? It shouldnt. It’s a key to learning, winning and succeeding. Josh Lenn tells us more.

Josh Lenn is an actor and a transformational coach who is passionate about helping people grow and develop.

He helps employees and organisations unleash creativity through sessions called things like Fail gloriously and Presenting Passionately. He also teaches presentation and collaboration at the Stockholm School of Economics Executive MBA Program.

Failure shouldn’t be scary
How come people seem to leave his sessions so happy? Isn’t failure something scary? It shouldn’t be, according to Josh Lenn.

– When we fail together in a safe environment we start to release something, he says: tons of creativity, joy and authenticity.

His sessions are intense and gives participants the feeling that it’s ok to show your true self.

Managing the inner critic
We all have a ruthless inner critic and can be hard on ourselves. When we practice failure we can become bolder, Josh Lenn explains. (His company is called Bold & Confident, by the way). His groups get to practice non-judgemental listening and different ways of responding to each other.

Building safety in teams
For this to work, it’s important to create an environment that feels safe. These mechanisms are described in the famous Project Aristotle by Google. That requires Josh Lenn himself to show that it is safe to fail, just like any leader needs to share her or his vulnerability before others can open up and do the same.

How you fail defines if you win
Because, and this is the key: how we deal with the failure defines if we win, Josh explains.

– We either get stuck; we let us be put down, or we learn and fuel from it and bounce forward.

Failure is central in successful businesses like Tesla. Its’ a part of creativity and bigger wins, it’s how we learn.

– Failure isn’t opposite to success, it’s a part of it, says Josh. Still, many people feel it isn’t ok to fail at work. But we all fail and the culture defines how we take care of failure. Do we shame it? Or own it as a group and celebrate it as a part of learning?

The key to creativity
We hold the key to each other’s creativity. Try this simple exercise with your team: Next time you share ideas, respond to each others suggestions saying ”Yes, and …” before you add your own thougths.

Often in such discussions we respond to others saying ”Yes, but …” which makes the other person think that her or his idea wasn’t good enough. Just by exchanging the little word ”but” and instead say ”and”, great things can happen. Try it!

Right now Josh offers anyone a 20 minute energy-boosting online session each Friday, called Fire-up Friday, read more and join here.

On, Swedens leadership website you can find a huge collection of articles on motivation, leadership and human behavior. Here’s an article about how vulnerability and bravery go hand in hand. Happy reading!

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