"When someone is dealing with a setback, you have to help them trigger a more resilient response. The key is how they're explaining the failure or the setback to themselves.
- It's easy to see failure as permanent when it's likely just a temporary setback.
- It's easy to see the setback as all-encompassing when it's likely an isolated setback, and
- It's easy to take the failure personally even when there were factors outside your control.
Resilient people view setbacks as temporary and isolated, and they don't beat themselves up.
So how do you get people to think more resiliently?
- You let them talk. Encourage them to think out loud and listen for any of these counterproductive thoughts.
- You want to be empathetic, but help them dispute any irrational thinking.
- If they think the setback is permanent, encourage them to think about one of their past successes that had setbacks along the way. Chances are some of their proudest accomplishments happened after major setbacks.
- If they think the setback is pervasive, that everything is screwed, point out the things that are going well and help them look for the good.
- And if they're personalizing the setback, encourage them to play to their strengths and remind them that some things are outside of their control. Most things are outside of their control. The only thing we control is our response.
The way people think about setbacks is going to determine their response to failure. And sometimes people need to be reminded that failure precedes success, that setbacks are temporary and they're isolated, and that a confident response is the only useful response."