Disappointment is inevitable in business. Everything can't go your way all the time.
So how you deal with disappointment is as important a business skill as understanding finance or being a good leader. It keeps you steady when times get tough, it strengthens you to stay in the game for great opportunities in the future.
Here are eight tips for dealing with disappointment:
1. Stay classy.
This is key, whatever the loss is - a big sale, a promotion, a battle over company direction.
Don't get in anyone's face. Be gracious. Say thank you for the consideration that went into the decision.
Look for insights you can gain from the experience about your company or the customer.
2. Don't take it personally.
Decisions are made for a variety of reasons, and rarely are those reasons personal.
If budget isn't being allocated to you, then your budget needs might not fit a corporate strategy. If someone else is a better fit for a position, then trust that those who made the decisions have more information about what's needed.
3. Accept the decisions.
If you need more information, go back and ask for it.
When it comes down to it, you can disagree with a decision but accept it. Keep in mind that decisions often aren't permanent, but if you don't accept them, then they will gnaw at you forever.
4. Stay humble.
Don't forget that even being in discussions about budget, in interviews for a promotion, on a sales call, or in company strategy meetings is a privilege.
We can get used to these things and take them for granted. Feel thankful for the opportunities that you actually have.
5. Protect your team.
Business owners who complain about not getting a big sale to staff are going to make employees worry about the health of the company.
Managers that complain publicly about budgets will cause morale to drop.
When employees fret, they don't perform well, or find new jobs.
6. Stay passionate.
Don't slow down! Immediately start working on the next goal.
Keep working toward the next sale, or keep working to better align your team with the goals of the organization.
7. Find people to talk to.
Talking through problems at work with a mentor or a more senior manager can be cathartic.
Doing so can also help you find a positive voice that will inspire confidence in the team.
8. Know when to leave.
Ultimately, each of us has a finite amount of disappointment that we can handle. After that, we simply might not be a good fit for the organization.
If you have crossed that threshold, don't burn any bridges. Instead, quietly look elsewhere for a new position. In short, stay positive. Nothing that happens at work is going to impact your life in the way it may seem at first. Don't become disengaged or angry.
Instead, keep looking for ways to make things better. Find a way to be enthusiastic.
This will result in a win-win for all: you, the company that hired you, and the employees who have put their trust in you.