Life is full of shocking surprises: the unplanned pregnancy, the layoff we didn’t see coming, the news of an affair that blindsided you, the premature death of someone you knew, an emergency phone call that informs you your child has been in an accident. These are all life rattling events that can shake our lives to the core and there are many more that could be added to this list.
Whether or not the unexpected thing we are confronted with is major or minor, it is necessary that we know how to respond. I’ve learned that people commonly respond to unexpected news or events in three ways:
- They Panic
- They Become Fearful
- They Shut Down
As a leader I’ve experienced all three responses and the results are never good. Responding to the unexpected is a leadership skill that will help bring the proper perspective to any given situation.
Here are three uncommon ways I’ve learned how to respond to the unexpected.
- Remain Calm: When the unexpected comes we are immediately faced with the unknown. If you haven’t noticed, people don’t do well with the unknown and that’s when panic sets in. Panic is a state or feeling of extreme fear that makes someone unable to act or think normally. As leaders when we remain calm we can quench people’s feelings of fear with common sense. Sometimes it’s best to remove yourself from the extreme feelings of the crowd so that you can find peace in the midst of the chaos. Remaining calm will help you make the right call!
- Be Strong and Courageous: When the unexpected comes we are immediately faced with fear. As leaders we have a choice to make. We can allow fear to paralyze us or we can be strong and find the courage to do what needs to be done. Courage is the ability to do something that you know is difficult. Let’s face it, dealing with the unexpected many times causes us to look at our inability to deal with the the difficult. However; when we respond with strength and courage, we tap into a God given ability that opens doors to possibility.
- Do Something: When the unexpected comes the temptation is to do nothing. To do nothing or shut down when confronted with the unexpected is not an option. Make the phone call, send the encouraging card, tell someone, find out how you can help, make the trip, do the work and be willing TO DO whatever it takes to bring an uncommon response to the unforeseen circumstances that are unfolding before you.
What can you add to my uncommon responses? Leave a comment and help The Backseat Leader Community learn how to respond to the unexpected.