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Top-Shelf Tip No. 169:

"When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home."

Betty Bender

How To React To Disappointment, Part 2

Disappointment is inevitable for leaders. At times your team will disappoint you, and there will also be instances where you disappoint others. So the fact that disappointment occurs isn’t the challenge. The real issue to address is how you respond to the disappointment.

Learn to make the most of a disappointing situation and use it as a coaching opportunity. Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared two tips for managing disappointment with your employees:

• Manage yourself before you confront the employee

• Assess your role in the disappointment

Today we are sharing three more tips to turn a moment of disappointment into a moment of opportunity.

Assume good intent. When you take the stance that the employee didn’t intentionally cause the disappointment, it naturally takes the edge off of your approach and any anger you may have. And in the majority of cases, that stance is absolutely accurate—the employee didn’t set out to cause harm. He or she simply made a mistake or a bad judgment call, which resulted in a less than ideal situation. Additionally, realize that the employees know they messed up, and they’ve probably given themselves a thorough thrashing by now and are terrified to speak with you. Therefore, any anger you display will be mild compared to what they’ve already dished out to themselves. Of course, if there’s been an intentional violation of an important principle, value or standard that compromises the integrity of the organization, then anger is understandable. However, true anger should be reserved for the most egregious acts.

When talking to the employee, focus on the disappointment in terms of the outcome, not the person. Successful school teachers know that when you discipline a student, you focus on the behavior, not the child. The same is true for business leaders. Even if the disappointment occurred because the employee was negligent in some way, you need to separate what happened from the employee personally. State your disappointment in terms of the outcome, and then explore with the employee the cause in an inquisitive and coaching way rather than a punitive way. Why? Because when employees feel punished or that the boss is scolding them, they become fearful, which decreases creativity and innovation on the job—the exact things you often need to rectify a disappointing situation.

Learn from disappointments. It’s human nature to lash out during disappointing times, and because a leader can, he or she often does. But remember that how you handle disappointment reflects more on you as a leader than on the person who caused the situation. Additionally, realize that the majority of disappointing moments are actually coaching moments in disguise. Savvy leaders recognize this and make the most of these situations. So if you want to be viewed as a leader with courage, credibility and reason, use the suggestions presented here the next time you feel the need to punish an employee for a wrongdoing. When you use these, you won’t be disappointed in the results.

PCT returns to your inbox tomorrow with tips for tackling the fear of public speaking.

Source: Alesia Latson is a speaker, trainer, coach and founder of Latson Leadership Group, a consulting firm specializing in management and leadership development. With more than 20 years of experience, Latson helps organizations and leaders expand their capacity to produce results while enhancing employee engagement.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

Promotional Consultant Today, in case you missed it.
How to React To Disappointment, Part 1
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Mind Reading For Managers, Part 2
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Mind Reading For Managers, Part 1
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How to Make the Buying Decision Easier for Your Customer
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Curious About Your Customer’s Story?
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