19: Failures

Failure is inevitable. The only way to avoid it is by doing nothing and saying nothing. Join Crina and Kirsten as they explore their own relationship to failure and explore ways to manage the emotions around this big subject.


In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, our gals discuss failure in the workplace. Nobody likes failure but it is a reality in every workplace and for every worker. Failure prevents a lot of us challenging ourselves and taking the next step. How do you feel about failure and how does it feel when you fail? What do you worry about? And why does it feel so bad? Crina and Kirsten discuss these questions in an introduction to failure.

The studies show that women are punished more severely for mistakes than men – in other words making a mistake is more consequential if you are a woman.

Failures in the workplace can be broken into three categories – 1 – preventable failures in complex system – otherwise known as human error; 2 unavoidable failures in complex systems; 3 – error at the frontier where things are unknown. Each type of error has different consequences and results in different learning and that is the most important part of failure in the workplace, the ability to learn and grow – if you can hold on through the embarrassment, shame and whatever else comes your way.

Crina and Kirsten discuss the dos and don’ts of failure. Taking ownership and telling the truth are great places to start after a failure. It is important to get help from others too.

And it’s important not to forget how to take care of ourselves after a failure – don’t wallow in your despair, but make some time to be kind and gentle with yourself – it will help you solve problems – and just make you feel better.


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