5 Strategies For Responding To Setbacks

Even if you are a top performing manager or leader, chances are you will make mistakes from time to time or encounter some setbacks.  The reality is that this just goes with the territory of the manager or leader.  So what strategies can you adopt to respond to setbacks that arise?


1.                  Reflect


In the busy world, it can sometimes be really difficult to stand back and reflect on what has happened, especially if it feels like a backward step.  Yet in truth there is much to be gained by standing back and reflecting.  This does not need to be a long drawn out process and can be done relatively quickly.  Simply take yourself somewhere quiet and mull over or jot down your thoughts. Ask yourself some searching questions.


2.                  Identify the lessons


Every time you make a mistake or achieve something you learn some lessons.  When things go well we rarely consciously think about why they have gone well so that we can keep doing it.  On the other hand when we make a mistake or encounter setbacks we generally consciously look for the lessons and what we will do differently next time.  Make it one of your habits to identify the lessons when things have not gone so well.


3.                  Recognise achievements


Even when faced with setbacks, there are likely to be some things that you achieved.  For example, I was recently interviewing someone by phone and recording the call.  Unfortunately I did not stop the recording at the end of the call so our post call chat was also recorded.  As a result I had to spend time editing and uploading again.  On the plus side I got a good quality interview, which was my goal, and learned a few new tricks about editing an audio.  Cut yourself some slack and recognise achievements when you have a setback.


4.                  Re-focus


When we have a setback it is all too easy to lose sight of what we were trying to achieve.  Re-focus on what it was that you wanted to achieve to stop you from falling into the common trap of throwing in the towel. Remember that where you focus tends to greatly impact greatly on your results.


5.                  Take action


Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, learn from the setback and get back into action.  When you take meaningful steps your motivation and drive returns and you quickly start achieving.


The Bottom Line: Setbacks are part of the road to success.  It’s not that you want to avoid setbacks but what you do want influence is how you respond.


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