If you take the view that we are all ‘works in progress’ – that the skills, capabilities, and performance we exhibit today will get better tomorrow – then you might take a more understanding and supportive approach when somebody fails.

A failure is a chance to learn how to get better. And so we probably need to tolerate a reasonable degree of failure if we want people to get better.

There are a time and place for ‘allowable failure’ though – sometimes, we can’t afford to fail.

At other times, though, we need to expect and even encourage failure as part of the learning process.

The idea that we are ‘works in progress’ is just another way of articulating the empowering and productive concept of the ‘growth mindset‘.