Permission to fail

Yesterday was an amazing experience for several reasons.

One was watching how people come together over a free lunch. I was sceptical but the Dean’s process of thanking staff for all their work and explaining what it means to be a citizen in our faculty was inspiring and not tacky (I expected tacky). Seriously, excellent management approach.

Another was watching people present on their personal experiences with flexible learning and technology and showing that, well, it’s tough. I chose those people because I knew their experiences were less than perfect. Change occurs best when people can be free to try and fail. After all we learn better from our mistakes than our success.

From this came the audience response. I had people say to me how wonderful it was not to have presenters just saying what they had done and how amazingly successful it had been. The best quote from someone who said something along the lines of, “I feel liberated enough to try something new. I know I don’t have to be right the first time.” *sigh* Awesome!

Later I was talking to someone about my failure in communication. It’s something I’m not really great at. She said to me “Don’t start a new conversation, join the current one then find a way to guide it to what you want to say.” I have heard this before in a different way, but it was a timely reminder for me and delivered with kindness and compassion which makes the bitter pill all the easier to swallow, so thanks Deborah!

All in all, a good day. I have seen the growth that comes from failure. Now to avoid the epic failure – not sure too much can be learnt from that!


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