By Dennis McIntee

How does your team cope with making mistakes . . . the non-life-threatening ones? The ones with limited negative results beyond the (assumed) retribution from a senior supervisor?

Often, innovation is bound by the fear of failure. When it comes to senior living, innovation is a crucial ingredient to adapting to the ever-changing needs of our residents. It starts by encouraging your team to be willing to take risks in the decisions they are making each day.

Why Are We So Afraid?

As a society, the fear of failure is paralyzing and can keep us from the greatness we were meant to do. If that fear is preventing you or your team from trying something different or taking a leap, change the way you frame it to experimenting. Thomas Edison had an idea that he literally tried thousands of times before getting it right. He didn’t see them as failures but as experiments.

Taking the pressure off your team can open their minds to possibility . . . and innovation. And then the “failures” won’t seem so bad — they merely were experiment proofs that did not work this time.

When the Fear Is Removed, Ownership Takes Root

Being in charge of your own decisions can harness the power of innovation. When your team no longer holds fear for trying new things, they can take ownership and expand their creativity because they feel safe to do so.

Owning decisions means owning change. Any high-performance, no-drama culture is full of these owned decisions.

It Only Takes a TSP

Owning your own decisions and finding your power is one key way to transform your team. But the next step is to transfer that same comfort, in being willing to own decisions, to your team members.

One key way to position your team for that kind of success is affirmation by TSP, or “the teaspoon method.” It stands for Truthful, Specific, and Positive. By offering your team members just a small amount of TSP feedback, you are giving them the confidence they need to boldly make decisions without fear. You only need to give them a little bit, just a TSP, to see results.

Need a Nudge to Get There?

Leaders everywhere often need encouragement to make wholesale changes on their teams that can reduce the drama and empower members to make their own decisions. We have had fantastic results with the Focused Leader Five-Day Challenge. This free program is a simple, directed email-a-day approach to helping leaders reduce their overwhelm and reclaim focus, so they can lead their teams in confidence and clarity. Try it today.