UnLtd brought us in to deliver a workshop to members of their team during a reflection meeting in London. Participants were of mixed background, ages and had made their way from various parts of the country (Bradford, Sheffield and more). This was beneficial as it meant the views shared were representative of a wider demographic and not limited to one area or walk of life.
Participants were welcoming and open to taking part in the workshop which made for a great start. During the Icebreaker, we split groups up randomly and got straight into activities aimed at refreshing the feelings of success & tension around failure.
The next section was to get an insight into what the group thought about success. The first point raised by participants was:
“I don’t want to be cheesy….
But I think success is doing things in life that make you happy, ultimately being fulfilled.
Society as a whole measures it in terms of gains and assets: monetary terms!”
As you would expect, this point opened the floor up to more debate which highlighted that even though all participants defined success differently, deep down we crave a sense of fulfilment and being able to achieve what they set out to.
One of the most interesting points was that some of the participants had gotten to the point where they were not chasing success anymore. They had goals but were not fixed on the idea of succeeding as it brought about unnecessary pressure. Instead, they were focused on putting in systems which would put them in the best possible position to succeed and handle any hiccups (failures) along the way.
The mood changed when we began to discuss Failure; which instantly brought about feelings of frustration, disappointment and paralysis.
Members of the group mentioned that failure itself was a distasteful experience, one which they tried to avoid when they were younger.
“I didn’t want to get into something and end up realising I couldn’t excel at it.”
Ultimately this was one of the most enlightening workshops we have run to date. It demonstrated that as participants progressed through life, their understanding and how they looked at both success and failure developed.
Being part of the Social Entrepreneurship world, I believe the reason the group were open to actively engage in this conversation about failure, as they value the insight of the wider group and were not too fixed with their approach to learnings.
What went well
“The Cycle of failure” was explained through our journey as a Social Enterprise, this put it in a scenario all participants were familiar with and were able to challenge or throw in their own thoughts and suggestions.
We approached the workshop from a stance of learning from the participants rather than imposing our thoughts. This was very effective at getting participants to open up and made them more willing to share their thoughts as part of the group.
What could be improved
One of the things we need to work on is keeping the conversation flowing following the workshops. There needs to be content available from us for the demographic of our participants.
“It was great being introduced to “peaks & troughs” and how it has been used to overcome failure”
“It was really powerful to get a conversation going about failure, we don’t talk about it enough”
“I found I really insightful as it allowed me to think about my challenges, both personal and work life”
6/7 said they’d be willing to attend more sessions.
5/7 said they now look at failure differently
7/7 said they found the content of the workshop useful.
5/7 signed up to our newsletter.
A message from the Founder
I’d like to say a huge thank you to UnLtd for all of their support over the last 18 months. Being a former award winner, I know the value they place on developing grass root Social Entrepreneurs and I’m humbled they have decided to be part of the journey. A special thank you goes out to Denise Ramsey & the team who commissioned the workshop and have continued to believe in the power of Social Enterprise.