No one is exempt from dealing with adversity. Life is full of curves, detours, and sometimes crashes. Leaders should expect to go through significant trials in their personal and professional lives. How we handle problems makes all the difference.
The following six strategies can help in overcoming adversity:
Strategy #1 – Expectation
Expectation setting is one of the most underrated tasks of a leader. Expectation helps to keep things in perspective and gives direction to remind us of the “big picture.” Expectation refocuses the vision and takes us beyond today with a forward-thinking outlook.
Remember that this situation is only temporary. Don’t allow adversity to take your mind off the set goals; it is your priority as a leader to keep the team focused.
Strategy #2 – Communication
When you are in the middle of adversity, communicate openly with your team and continue to keep them informed as the situation develops. Rumors can start and panic set in if others are not informed.
Communication is not about talking but about connecting. Communicate with your heart; my friend Gil Martin reminded me. The power of authentic communication is learning to speak our hearts with the same ease that we speak our minds. Because overcoming adversity is all about heart, communicating gives our heart a voice.
Strategy #3 – Locomotion
When going through adversity, you must keep moving forward. There is tremendous power in movement and unstoppable power in persistent movement. When adversity strikes, our gut reaction is to stop; but it is better to take action. Don’t let one problem or one difficulty shut you down and lose all momentum.
Strategy #4 – Collaboration
Collaboration is the act of working together with one or more individuals for a common purpose. Collaboration is about taking people on our journey forward. This won’t happen unless strong relationships are in place before problems arise. Collaboration brings people together to overcome adversity. When others can be part of the solution, they feel less helpless.
Strategy #5 – Daily Plan
Writing out your daily plan on a simple 3 X 5 index card helps you keep things in perspective. It also encourages initiative to overcome adversity, not sit by and do nothing. Three reasons to use a daily plan:
- Putting a plan on paper each day will reduce stress and anxiety.
- Putting a plan in place gives a path to take action to overcome anxiety.
- Writing down a daily plan offers greater focus to tackle adversity.
Strategy #6 – Celebration
I know this seems odd, but when you work with others, and they help you to overcome adversity, there should be a time of celebration. There is nothing like celebrating after a difficult or stressful time has passed. Celebration is powerful emotional medicine for everyone engaged in the adversity battle.
Through tough life experiences, I have learned how to deal with adversity and even more importantly, how to prevent adversity. When you practice these six strategies, you will become better prepared to help others (and yourself) when difficulty comes.