When a Curveball Comes Your Way

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and you need to react quickly. Of course, these curveballs usually catch you off guard, so you need to be ready for action.

Curveballs can be anything from the loss of a major client to the news of a downsizing or restructuring. They can also be personal, such as coping with a serious illness or the loss of a loved one.

Curveballs are unexpected, can be overwhelming, and often require immediate action. Immediate action, however, doesn’t mean a chaotic reaction. Here are some tips to consider.

Assess the situation. Take stock of what you can and can’t do, then focus on the “can”. Create a timeline, rearrange priorities, and get the resources you need to move forward.

Identify the best outcome under the circumstances. These aren’t ideal conditions, but you can envision and work with a best-case scenario. Figure out what it is and work towards that result.

Focus on what is both important and urgent. The important will cover the strategic, while the urgent considers the time-critical steps. You need to consider both elements.

Stay calm. Although this is easier said than done, your cool head will move you forward more effectively than panicking. Remember, people will follow your lead. If you freak out, it will create anxiety in others.

Ask for help. This isn’t time to be the lone ranger. Ask for what you need from the people who can and are committed to help you the best.

Stay flexible. Your priorities may keep shifting based on new information. Remember, what’s important is your best outcome, not how you get there.

These suggestions are ways to protect yourself from curveballs. Remember, though, that curveballs can also present opportunities, so look for the opening and be prepared to grab it.

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