When things go wrong
We have all experienced adversity or some set-back at some time or another. That nauseating, gut-wrenching feeling when something goes wrong (trust me, I have had this feeling MANY times in my life).
It might be something simple like a car break-down or getting stuck in a traffic jam. Or it might be something more significant like losing a key client, missing a tender submission deadline, the sobering realisation that your project will horribly run over budget, or even being the victim of crime.
Regardless of the financial, emotional or time impact, there are always constructive ways to deal with adversity. The key to dealing with it effectively lies in keeping the issues in context and maintaining a strategic perspetive.
Before sharing some basic strategies for dealing with adversity, I need to mention that many professionals or business owners don’t ask for help when they encounter problems. It could be a matter of pride or stubborness, or individuals thinking that they could contain the damage before it gets out of control. That doesn’t mean you should be one of them! Here are six suggested steps to consider when things go wrong:
1. Restore Calm. Breathe. It is impossible to take control of a situation and act calmly if you are in a panic. Retain your strategic focus.
2. Take Responsibility. I’m not saying that you must accept blame, but the sooner you take full responsibility for your choices, behaviours and actions, the sooner you will restore your personal power. Is it necessary to own up? Do you need to apologise or take corrective measures?
3. Find your Focus. Only YOU can decide if you are going to use your energy and precious time to focus on the problem, the drama or the details, or if you want to focus on finding a solution. Remember, you get what you focus on!
4. Look for Opportunity. I firmly believe that there are always opportunities in adversity – if you choose to see them. Be bold in looking for new opportunities and taking them on. If your market or industry is changing, try to look for the benefits in these changes. Alternatively, are there any lessons learned that you can embrace?
5. Identify and Evaluate your Options. Look for areas in which you can be more efficient and productive in your business. What are your options? Consider what actions you could take and what the outcomes or consequences would be.
6. Take Action. Moving away from thinking about problems and solutions, to actually doing something about it, is often the most difficult for many people. So, once you’ve accepted that things cannot always run smoothly, make a choice and get out there!
Your professional challenge:
Decide how do YOU want to react when things go wrong next time?
|Article supplied by: Gina Mostert, Business Strategist, Consultant & Coach
About the Author: Gina works executives, business leaders and companies in the services sector, helping them to think, plan and lead more strategically.