How to Deal with Bad News!

How do you react when something you have been working on for a long time goes wrong? I used to be very bad at this and I would react with anger and a very bad attitude. This would last for days and my productivity was non-existent during this mourning period. I remember a particular incident when I worked for Metro Radio in the North East of England over 30 years ago.

I had been working hard for 6 months on a particular client and I remember that we were very close to closing the biggest contract in the radio station’s history. I had spent months working with the area director of this large international company and it looked like we had finally landed the contract.

Switch to TV

Without warning a last minute decision was made to switch from radio to TV and we lost the entire contract. If I had won this contract, I would have hit my target for the entire year so it was a very big deal. To say that I was upset was a big understatement! I was swearing, said that I was leaving, I was coming in late and going home early and I was like this for about 5 days.

It was a dark time for me and I now understand that my Inner Chimp was having a field day and was totally out of control. Then suddenly another big contract came in and I was happy again. But I had lost 5 days’ work and I couldn’t get that back again – those days were lost forever.

A different way to respond

Last year I had a big contract that I was working on and I had been working with a key director on this for many months. Then just as I was about to celebrate the success of this work, they decided not to go ahead due to a change in circumstances. I was devastated and I was really down. I was really down for…………one hour then I chose to stop!

I looked at the situation and asked myself if there was anything I could do about it and there wasn’t. So no amount of anger and complaining would change anything. I also knew that the Law of Attraction responds the to the emotions we send out on a daily basis and all those negative feelings I was sending out would come back to me.

The power of Gratitude

To help me get back on track I did something I recommend on my training and coaching courses and that is to list of all the things I am grateful for. So I did this for about a minute and I realised that my life is actually great, and that this incident is only a tiny dot on the landscape of my life.

I thought about the people in my life, the car I drive the fact that I have the wonderful opportunity to help people and change lives. I also reminded myself that I am healthy, have a wonderful wife, brother, sister, mum and nephew. I have lots of friends and I can taste great food and smell the wonderful flowers. I have a roof over my head and live in a great country.

Bad news in Dubai?

Once I had done this for about one minute I felt a lot better and this helped me put this into perspective. In a few years I won’t even remember this incident, so what good would it do to worry about it, to fret and get stressed. All I will do is hurt myself – studies have shown that worrying and stress can lead to physical health problems and I didn’t want that.

A couple of weeks ago I got some bad news regarding a company I am developing as a potential client in Dubai. I found out that the great contact with whom I have established a really good relationship with, is leaving next month to take up a job offer in another country which is too good to miss. I’ve been to Dubai twice this year and have met him on both occasions. He is already in a high position in this company in Dubai, so this must be a good offer.

The importance of the Reframe technique

My first reaction was to get down and think that I was so close to getting some work from them and now I will have to start all over again as personal contacts are vital. After about 30 minutes I used the reframe technique to find out what could be positive about this situation. I believe that in every negative circumstance there is a seed of equal or greater benefit.

In the email my contact introduced me to a person in a different department who would be even more relevant for my Mental Resilience training and coaching so that was positive. Then I realised that my contact would be moving to a different country and perhaps I could follow him there. So I immediately emailed my congratulations to him, saying that I would miss him but wished him much success.

Two opportunities from one

The following morning, I phoned him and had a good chat with him. He couldn’t give me details of the company he is moving to but he gave me the country he is moving to and it is a great place to do business in. So instead of being angry and negative I used the reframe technique to keep positive and creative. What could have turned out to a disaster for a few days has turned out to be very exciting.

My contact and I have linked up on Linkedin and he will be in touch when he gets to his new company – I can feel another trip coming up! Meanwhile he has agreed to set up a meeting with myself and the new person he had recommended when I am in Dubai again later this year.

3 thoughts for the week.

1. How do you respond when something goes wrong? Observe how you react and if your Inner Chimp (emotion) is out of control, try to calm it down (see page 111 of my book)
2. When something goes wrong in your day use the reframe technique (page 125 of my book) and find the positives in this negative situation.
3. You can choose how you respond to almost everything which hits you on a daily basis, so choose to respond positively, it’s always the better way

Well that’s it for this week have a great weekend and stay positive

Warm regards


Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available here (Special free delivery offer currently available)

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