In life, whether in the course of our professional careers or while tackling a simple project, we will sooner or later have to face adversities, setbacks and failures. We will not always have perfect success and from time to time we will have a major setback where we will have to work hard to get over it.
Generally, we do not usually like to talk about failures. People always want to hear of success, but it is from the very mistakes we make, that we learn.
When a project misses the deadline, it deviates from the original budget, often in a significant way. It often does not meet the expectations of the client or to further complicate the matter, it ends up being cancelled before it can be properly concluded. It is in cases like these that we have to face our failure and learn from it.
Just making mistakes and learning the lessons our circumstances offer us, helps us move forward on a firm footing. We must see the projects that don’t end up finishing on schedule as great opportunities to learn and when we face adversity, it is imperative that we ask ourselves:
What can I learn from this?
As we work to solve and address these situations, we should always keep in mind our capabilities as well as our limitations. Auto-critiquing is important, but so is knowing the strengths and abilities that we possess. The balance between them will allow us to be able to overcome obstacles, supporting ourselves with our strengths. It does not benefit us to ignore our mistakes. make excuses, or blame our circumstances. We should know and accept that we have either done something wrong, or just not done what we were supposed to do at all. However, it is also important to acknowledge when things are done well and done correctly.
It is necessary to observe the project objectively. It is better to be optimistic than to have a destructive vision. We should recognise the errors, know the resources that we had within our reach and the goals that we wanted to achieve.
In crisis situations, or in cases of failure, we must avoid the urge to control everything. This is usually one of the biggest errors project managers make after failing. One of the primary sources of tensions and stress is the desire to control every aspect of the project in such a way that we are in charge of every aspect and miss absolutely no part of the process.
A good way to tackle adversity is with humour. One of the most important things a project manager should be able to do is laugh, even through seeming misfortune! Laughter is the best ally because it keeps us optimistic and above all, ensures that focus is placed on the most positive aspects of situations. In this sense, it is key to seeking the team’s help, allowing us to adequately and objectively communicate the situation while delegating the various tasks. We assume quite a bit of responsibility yes, but we do not cause an unnecessary and to a large extent unfair pressure.
Always remember, the fall is not important. It’s how you get up and move forward!