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Critical Identity Question: What Have You Learned From Failure?

If we don't let kids fail, they won't learn significant truths about life.  They won't learn about persistence. They won't be able to discern what's most important. They won't be able to learn that their true worth comes from within, not from their reputation. They won't learn that they can handle hard things, and they will be predisposed to avoid taking risks.   

Inability to face, accept, or learn from failure is one of the most consistent critiques managers in today’s workplace have about the younger generations. Just the other day I was talking with two managers of a large global company who lamented how few risks their team members were willing to take. Whether it was speaking up in meetings or coming up with new initiatives, they consistently held back. One of them shared how she’d given honest feedback to a young employee, who instantly broke down crying and claimed she was being treated in a hostile manner.   

Life is going to be hard. No one’s going to escape setbacks, obstacles, or failure. If you do, it’s likely because you’re taking the path of least resistance and avoiding anything that might be uncomfortable. The workplace needs emerging talent to embrace and continuously lean into failure. There’s no better time to teach them this valuable life lesson than during adolescence. 

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For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.  

They're uncommon sense ideas, really.

Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).

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