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Performance Failure and Self-Directed Coaching: Change

May 01, 20241 min read

Nobody likes it when they get caught out for being inattentive, failing to perform to standards, doing a task wrong, or otherwise messing up. It feels bad--even when it’s a learning experience. It costs something: social capital, money, trust, or maybe something else.

It also often evokes old feelings.

While appropriate guilt, shame, or minor dejection are the correct feelings to start with when you let others down, and an apology is always in order--along with accepting responsibility for the action--it’s important not to cling to them.

If you are the person who has been impacted by the actions, the question is different. The question on your side of the equation is: how long do you need to be angry with the other person, and how will you help them recognize their role in the system (especially if it’s work-related)?

Being angry only helps tear the situation down and make it worse. Try asking questions that help them focus on the impact of their behavior. Start every question with “how might.” Move to “What will you do to reduce the risk of this happening again?” and let them tell you what they need. Avoid getting tangled in the feelings.

the trauma informed academyelizabeth powertraumaresiliencechangeperformance failureself-directed coaching
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Elizabeth Power

Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc. , is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and consultant. EPower & Associates is the parent organization for The Trauma Informed Academy(r). "All we do is help people with change, resilience and self-care, and learning to live trauma responsively. And everything is done from the trauma-informed perspective," she says. "Even courses directly about working with trauma are about change."

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