What is ‘trial and error’?

Trial and error is not a method of finding the best solution, nor a method of finding all solutions. It is a problem-solving technique that is used simply to find a solution.

So, you screwed up?’ – How many times have you heard this criticism when you failed? What this question often implies is that you are a loser, someone who lost its reputation or having difficulty managing a situation or a relationship. Hidden, this question sends the message: ‘You are not good enough’.

No wonder, that it is inherently coded in us to fear failure and be ashamed when we fail. Even though every one fails sometimes in life, as failure is part of a learning process we cannot avoid. If we look deep inside, everybody would agree, that the failures that make us stronger and unique.

Studies show that the most successful people failed a lot. When testing concepts, ideas, solving new problems in the real world one cannot avoid making mistakes, or fall flat sometimes. Successful managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs all understand the importance of failure, indeed they are mastered in failing but:

  1. they have learned to move on; and
  2. learned from their mistakes, in other words, they truly understand the meaning of trial and error.

trial and error

To me, failure and self-development come hand in hand. It is not a question if: ‘Will you fail or not?’, but rather ‘What level of risk you take?’ when you fail. Successful managers and leaders suggest testing concepts, ideas in a low-risk environment to minimize risk associated with failure.

So, why not to use this ‘formula’ in teaching management and leadership?

Computer games and online simulations, such as FLIGBY offer to test and master leadership and management skills in a safe, low-risk environment and allows to experiment.

By playing FLIGBY the players can face with some of their lacking abilities, management or leadership skills. It is almost certain that they will fail someway or another as leaders/managers while playing the Game. Odd it might be, but true that failing in the Game motivates the player to play more in order to test and try out other alternative management and leadership styles and skills in order to succeed.

This is how FLIGBY unconsciously teaches new management and leadership skills and styles, teaches to accept failure as part of a learning process, and master in people management skills.

After all our whole life is based on ‘trail and error’, but no one can take away the experience we collect through truly experiencing life, including the mistakes we make!

(The author of this entry is Esztella Fazekas, member of the Leadership & Flow Research Team)