All our lives, we are taught that failure is negative. From getting a bad grade in school to a flaw in designing a report for management, we are instructed that failure is not an option. Saying that failure is not an option has consequences, though. This idea that an employee cannot fail leads to many employees fearing taking risks—risks that would, if successful, greatly benefit the team or company. It is up to managers and more importantly, leaders, to show trust in their employees.
Managers and leaders are very different, although they are commonly considered to take on the same role. Managers can be leaders, but simply having the management title does not automatically make someone a leader. Being a leader requires more than being a manager. A manager, without being a leader, is usually going to be results driven, focused on success, and lacking the ability to inspire. This type of character typically falls into the trap of the “failure is not an option” notion.
Leaders are more inspirational and do not fear failure in the same way. Trust is the cornerstone of leadership. Being able to allow employees to try and fail is welcomed in the mindset of leaders. If an employee fails, then a leader can help that employee, or team member, become more successful through a learning experience. A leader also can help team members understand the significance of important objectives rather than just command results. This is a good opportunity for leaders to demonstrate creative and innovative solutions. A good leader will also be passionate and committed to his or her role as well as the team. Finally, leaders need to show a degree of empathy and ensure they are relatable to his or her team. A strong leader will encourage a team to do their best and entrust them whether they fail or succeed. This will help the team overcome the “no failure” mentality.
How do you view failure? Are you a leader… or simply a manager?
In our last post, we discussed interview tips that focused mainly on helping candidates interviewing for open positions. Today, we want to discuss interviewing from an employer’s perspective—more specifically, interviewing strong candidates with increased nerves. For the most part, candidates going into an interview are going to have some degree of nervousness (unless you are speaking with someone who relishes in the opportunity to present him or herself). It can be difficult to navigate the interview when someone is outwardly nervous. This can also be somewhat frustrating considering the individual is clearly qualified for the position based on the resume.
When dealing with nervous candidates, it is important to ensure that you are considering how you are appearing in the interview. It is vital to convey calmness to the candidate while being cognizant of your own body language. Keep your body language relaxed. Your calm demeanor will help relax the candidate. Don’t forget to smile!
An interviewer can also set a calming tone in the interview by engaging in some small talk prior to or during the interview in order to spread out questions. Sometimes, the worst thing for a nervous candidate can be an interrogation type interview with a constant line of questioning. A dialog is much more helpful in relaxing the candidate and tends to be more effective in getting to know the candidate personally and professionally.
Nervousness is not an indicator that a candidate is the wrong fit for the job. As an interviewer you have to be careful when taking nerves as a reason to dismiss a candidate. There are plenty of incredible candidates who, unfortunately, are passed over for positions because of their nerves in an interview. A lot of the time, they are actually the best candidate for the job. Be sure not to miss your next great hire for this reason—interviewing is very stressful!