How To Give Yourself Grace As A Business Leader

How To Give Yourself Grace As A Business Leader

As leaders, it’s essential to prioritize empathy and care for others, including employees and customers. However, many leaders forget to extend the same level of compassion to themselves when they make mistakes. This can lead to burnout, stress and a lack of overall well-being.

To combat this, leaders must learn to grant themselves grace and forgiveness when they inevitably make mistakes. Below, 15 Forbes Business Council members offer their best tips for leaders who want to extend themselves a greater amount of compassion. Follow their recommendations so you can take better care of yourself, improve your mental health and well-being and ultimately become a better leader for your team.

1. Recognize Your Boundaries

To get good, you have to let yourself take risks and fail. It’s like grappling without ever tapping out when you never take a risk and get to failure. My best advice is to recognize your boundaries and give yourself the same grace that you offer others. Learn when it’s time to tap out, then come back the next day refreshed. – Jordan Edwards, Mixology Clothing Company

2. Take The Perspective Of A Friend

Self-compassion is a key to dealing with setbacks, but it is often a learned skill and not one that comes naturally to leaders. To practice self-compassion, it is important to look at setbacks from the perspective of a friend to be kinder and more empathetic to oneself. It is also important to reach out to others, not for validation, but to reframe your perspective and build connectedness. – Sindhu Kutty, Kuroshio Consulting

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3. Lead With Empathy

Many female founders have been conditioned to see empathy as a weakness in business. On the contrary, showing grace and being caring (for others and for yourself) creates opportunities for growth. In my 20-plus years in this role, I’ve seen how leading a company with empathy fosters a healthy and collegial workplace where team members are trusted to contribute and take risks. – Mimi Doe, Top Tier Admissions

4. Be Understanding When Acknowledging Mistakes

Be kind and understanding to yourself. To do this, acknowledge your mistakes, try to see things in a positive light, learn from what happened and set achievable goals. Taking care of yourself— through things like exercise, mindfulness and spending time with loved ones—can also help you be more self-compassionate. – Chuck Leblo, Interact One

5. Care For Yourself

Remember that you have no business without your body or your whole self. Give yourself at least 5% of the grace you give clients and team members and watch your attitude change. It can feel very isolating at the top when leading an organization, so time for self-care and reflection should be a frequent event on the calendar. – Ginni Saraswati, Ginni Media

6. Self-Reflect

Making time for self-reflection is imperative. It can be difficult to see the forest for trees. Self-reflection allows you the grace to take responsibility for mistakes without allowing negative emotions (such as guilt or shame) to cloud your judgment moving forward. Whether you attend church, play golf or meditate, removing yourself from busy environments to take time to think at a higher level is advisable. – Chris Gerlach, Synergy Life Science

7. Focus On The Big Picture

Take some time to pause and accept the mistake made. Accepting means learning and caring. If you reflect on the journey and efforts it took you to get where you are now, you’ll see that mistakes are an important part of your growth. Don’t dwell on what you’ve done wrong. Instead, keep your focus on your success and the big picture. – Michael Podolsky,

8. Know Your Goals

Knowing your goals—personal and professional—is key to staying focused on the big picture. No one is perfect. Doing everything for your growing business isn’t possible. And, if that isn’t enough, some of the best innovations come out of a need for creative solutions. – Nell Callahan, Frontwood Strategies

9. Don’t Fear Mistakes

A mistake happening today can hinder a failure tomorrow. One seldom learns without having experiences; thus, without trying, there is no learning. Admitting mistakes simultaneously refreshes you and helps you to let go of things. The more you fear them, the more damage they do when they happen. Nobody is perfect, but getting better happens when we learn and grow. Mistakes are part of that path. – Aslak de Silva, Selfly Store

10. Be Real, Not Perfect

Be real; don’t be perfect. Often, leaders feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders and one misstep will lead to the world crumbling around them. Stop doing that. Allow yourself to be you in your truest form. Mistakes will happen, so let them and stop aiming for perfection. – Deyman Doolittle, ShipSigma

11. Make It A Learning Opportunity

For every mistake made, there is a lesson or adjustment to be learned. Being an effective leader means taking risks, trying new things and, by default, making mistakes. Allow yourself to make mistakes, then take the time to learn from them. – Chase Flashman, ShipSigma

12. Let Yourself Rest

Don’t allow yourself to get so stressed and bogged down to the point you have no compassion for yourself, your employees or your customers. From operating a 34-year-old business, I understand this well. It’s vital to not get overwhelmed and remain “human” by working eight-hour shifts, going home and getting adequate rest for the mind and body. Remain humble, not self-absorbed. – Tammy Sons, Tn Nursery

13. Practice Humility

Leverage the power of a humble approach to mistakes. Granting yourself grace is about understanding that errors are learning opportunities rather than failures. The example you set for your team is motivating in itself. By normalizing mistakes, leaders can establish a supportive culture where people don’t feel ashamed of making missteps. Instead, they learn how to own it and move on. – Ronke Komolafe, Integrated Physical & Behavioral Health Alliance

14. Seek Support

Leaders can grant themselves grace when they make mistakes by adopting a growth mindset, practicing self-compassion and seeking support from others. Reframe mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning, treat yourself with kindness and reach out for help when needed. There is always room for learning and growth when making a mistake. Always move forward. – Kirt Linington, Linear Roofing & General Contractors, LLC

15. Schedule Time For Yourself To Regroup

Today’s business environment is super competitive and unforgiving. I sin the same way, but in the past few years, I have developed my own retreats of things I love to do to have some “me time.” This helps me to regroup myself and my thoughts. – Rotem Eylor, Republic Floor