The number one reason most people don’t do interesting things is that they are afraid of rejection. They don’t ask that special someone on a date, they don’t start a business, they don’t even apply for a job, or they don’t even ask for a discount.
One of the reasons online dating is so popular is that it makes rejection a lot easier. There, no one knows when you have been rejected. It makes it much easier for people to handle failure. Romantic rejection can be very bitter.
In the workplace, rejection takes another tone. Many people are worried about proposing out-of-the-box ideas for fear that they might get rejected. But unconventional ideas are just the things that need to be reviewed at companies. If your ideas are not being rejected at least 50% of the time, you are playing it way too safe (or too political). A good rate of rejection within a company is 50-80%.
I would guess that people who take rejection well make much better employees. They can take the appropriate level of risk and still feel good about themselves. When interviewing, test this trait.
One question I was asked recently: How can you teach people to better handle rejection? I don’t have a good answer to that and would appreciate your comments.