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Why FAIL is Not a 4-Letter Word
Episode 1027th December 2021 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:53:09

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Drs Claire Edwin, Sally Ross, and Taj Hassan join us to discuss how we can manage and deal with our failures more effectively. We explore the idea that rather than doing something wrong, failure is an opportunity to really grow and learn both as individuals, as leaders and as organisations. In any situation, it’s important to remember that we’re all human. It’s okay to be honest with ourselves and each other about our mistakes - after all, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. 

If you want to know how to change your mindset around failure, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode Highlights

[04:49] About our Guests

  • Dr Claire Edwin works at the National Medical Director Clinical Fellows and NHS England in the faculty of medical leadership and management. 
  • Dr Taj, a previous president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, is currently involved in international work in Pakistan. 
  • Dr Sally Ross has extensive experience in military and various leadership training events.

[07:20] What are Micro Failures?

  • Micro failures are often small things you miss that you think don’t have a consequence. 
  • No one can operate perfectly all the time.

[10:16] How Sally Views Failure

  • When things go wrong, embrace it as an opportunity to learn. 
  • Sally shares that her military training helped her develop the trait of failing fast. 

[12:40] High Expectations and Failure for Medical Professionals

  • There are higher expectations and demands for medical professionals. 
  • It’s okay to not be perfect all the time. 

[15:33] How Leaders Should Handle Mistakes

  • Basic errors come in different forms that usually arise in the heat of the moment. 
  • Failure to build consensus, communicate, and engage could ripple down to more serious errors.

[21:45] Importance of Honesty, Trust, and Consistency

  • As a leader, understanding how mistakes were made in forming a conclusion is important.
  • Being honest about your failures isn’t about talking about them everyday.

[24:35] Why We Judge Ourselves Based on Our Failures

  • Being a perfectionist can make our judgements harsher. 
  • Due to underfunding, medical practitioners are pushed to explain why their patients need to wait.

[29:35] Toxic Trio Leading to Failure

  • Failures are often brought about by lack of prioritisation, perfectionism, and people-pleasing.

[31:12] The Danger of People-Pleasing

  • Sally addressed an issue at her workplace that might have painted her as a ‘bad guy’.

[34:17] Cultivating Healthy Work Cultures

  • Taj practises zero tolerance for people being rude to his staff members.
  • Being upfront to impolite patients is his way to avoid any escalation. 

[37:52] Facilitating Learning from Failure

  • When people fail, they should have the chance to express it.


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