Let’s face it, some days are not great days. And though we have lots of tools, experiences and resources to draw on to find solutions – some days you just don’t even have the energy or clarity to make use of them. The waves of frustration, fear or disappointment are coming too fast. A client fired you, a marketing event you spent a lot of money on fell flat, payroll is due and you aren’t sure if you will have funds to cover it, your boss blew off his meeting with you again and you are starting to feel like you care more than he does. All these things – and some days they hit you hard.

So what do you do?

Many times when we respond from this place of overwhelm and emotion, we make things worse.

Often the hardest part is how these issues are hitting us emotionally. On a different day, and quite often, we felt equipped to handle the challenge or letdown.

So, remind yourself that this overwhelming feeling of frustration, fear or disappointment will come and go. The problem won’t disappear, but the accompanying emotions will. Visualize that they are waves coming up on a beach where you lie, and while they feel at the moment as if they might cover you, they will ebb and flow. They won’t stay at this overwhelming level forever, and often not even for long.

So in that moment, just imagine the ebb and flow. The waves coming and receding.

If you can’t help yourself, at least do no harm. Just be still, let the waves recede, then draw on your resources, lean on your experience, use your tools. And until you can, do no harm.

How many times have we reacted from that place of extreme frustration/fear/disappointment – and made things so much worse?

For example, a business owner shared with us that he snapped on his team after no one stayed late to attend a very important marketing meeting with another company. The other company brought their entire team, and there he was alone, embarrassed and frustrated at his team. So the next morning he called everyone into his office and had a “Come to Jesus Meeting” about their lack of caring to attend the meeting. He was so mad he kicked the table in his office and it almost fell over. Two employees stood up and walked out. He told them as they gathered their items that if they left they were fired. They left anyway. The rest sat in stunned silence.

Needless to say, anything he was trying to communicate to his team about what he was disappointed about or expected of them got lost in the emotional blowup. And he then had to spend time cleaning that up, and lost any point he had about his frustration with the team.

Often, if we really look at the situation, we don’t have to immediately “solve it.” If a client is upset, you can listen and then say, “I’d really like to think about this, find out exactly what happened, and then get back with you in a few days. It’s very important to me that we provide great service to you and I want to really process and figure out how to fix this problem.” Not only does this truly give you time to analyze and think the issue through, but it allows the emotional waves to recede, so you can address it more calmly. Until then, don’t make it worse – do no harm.

Be on the Lookout for “The Team Empowerment Program” a Virtual Training Program RELEASING December 2015 to support you in all your training, communication & team empowerment needs.

employee playbook


Everything you need to turn around your people, processes, productivity and profitability is right here in this free e-Book.


Feel like your people—and their productivity—are a mess? Don’t worry, this book has your back! Download this book for free and follow our advice about how to empower your employees to step up and lead!

You have Successfully Subscribed!