Use disappointment to make yourself a better leader

Dec 02, 2020

Defined as the gap between our expectations and reality, disappointment is something all humans experience in the workplace in various shapes and sizes. While disappointment is hard enough when times are good, our current pandemic environment has many of our emotions close to the surface, exacerbating these feelings. It’s more important now than ever for leaders to handle disappointing situations in a healthy way when things don’t go according to plan.

Using disappointment to drive your aspirations as a leader is a skill. When you experience disappointment, you are tested and stretched, which expands your capacity. There are ways to handle your response without sacrificing your vision, values, and goals.  The suggestions below from a recent leadership blog will help you make the most of a disappointing situation and use it as the coaching opportunity.

  1. Develop a clear vision of the leader you aspire to become. Use values, strengths, talents, passions, opportunities, and feedback as guides.
  2. Make daily choices based on who you aspire to become, not negative reactions to disappointments.
  3. Use disappointments as warning or instruction, not excuse.
  4. Reflect on your progress at regular intervals.

Why should you care?

How you handle disappointment reflects more on you as a leader than on the person who caused the situation. It’s important to remember that the majority of disappointing moments are actually coaching moments in disguise.