6 tips for managers to help young leaders overcome failure

Cover credit: Pixabay

Cover credit: Pixabay

According to a new survey led by Babson College, 41 percent of 25- to 34-year-old millennials cited “fear of failure” as their biggest obstacle to start a business. Many young people, in fact, prefer to minimize risks rather than facing them.

To make matters worse, they’ve grown up in a connected world where failure is public and more destructive.

Millennials also perceive risk differently than previous generations because they grew up overprotected by their bulky parents.

Now, many millennials are entering the job world and are facing failure for the first time. Managers can and should help them overcome it. If you are a senior leader, you can do so in different ways.

1. Demonstrate empathy.

The best way to gain millennials’ loyalty is to listen to them. You can also share your own struggles and stories of failure.

2. Encourage self-esteem.

Highlight the strengths, skills and attributes that made them get that job and explain to them that self-worth is not based on their performance.

3. Help them recognize their own failure.

Don’t let millennials blame other people for their own failure and take on a victim mentality. If they don’t accept failure, they won’t grow up. “The things that hurt, instruct,” Benjamin Franklin said.

4. Contextualize failure.

Help millennials see failure as a temporary event, not a lifelong symptom.

5. Be a coach.

Teach them how to solve problems, develop resilience and cultivate confidence to take on new challenges.

6. Look forward.

Help them understand that long thinking about missteps can stall progress and reduce self-confidence, so encourage them to look forward resiliently.