3 Tips to Overcoming Business Setbacks with Poise 

High-performing business owners across the globe may manage different types of teams or carry many different types of responsibilities on their shoulders, but they all have one thing in common: at some point in their career they will face a business setback of some kind. Most people face several such setbacks over the course of their career, and learning to overcome these disappointments takes both poise and resiliency.

Some setbacks are smaller, like having a client find a typo in a document you present to them or putting the wrong date of birth on one of their financial documents. Others are much bigger disappointments, such as losing a key employee or not landing a certain client you had been courting for a while, or losing your biggest client who brought in a very large portion of the revenue. But large or small, the fact remains that surviving a setback speaks more to your personal character than it does your professional abilities.

At the end of the day, how we respond to adversity is a character trait that develops over time. No one wakes up one morning and is automatically an incredible overcomer. It takes discipline and a positive attitude to develop the moral fortitude to dust yourself off after a business fall. Some people never master the skill, and others – with time and dedication – are able to grow thick skin and a can-do attitude that will help them find inevitable success.

How you push through disappointment matters.

If just “surviving” a tough time were all you needed to do get through it, then anyone and everyone would be better able to overcome business setbacks. But to work through the heartache of something not going as planned with poise, grace, and humility is an entirely different side of the coin.

If you process disappointment or rejection by complaining, blame-shifting, or throwing an adult tantrum, you show your team and family that you maybe are not emotionally and mentally able to lead them well. Letting off steam every now and then or having a five-minute “pity party” is one thing – but be sure to do that with a trusted confidant, a spouse, or a partner rather than dumping your feelings about how things didn’t go your way onto your employees or others.

On the other hand, if you respond to adversity with a smile, and lean into your work, determined to learn and grow from the situation, those around you can’t help but sit up and take notice. Not only that, but your positive attitude will inspire others to take their own disappointments and setbacks in stride. How we react to poor situations that do not go our way says volumes about the type of leader we are; if we can come through tough personal times with grit and poise, it stands to reason that our employees will emerge from the situation with a greater confidence in us and in the future of the business as whole.

3 Tips for picking yourself up after a business disappointment.

There are countless ways to lift your spirits and find renewed will to move forward after a business setback, but these three rise to the top of the list:

  1. Communicate early and often. By working with your employees to move through a negative situation, you show that you are willing to be flexible and highlight your ability to look past a negative situation gracefully. Communicating not only the issues you are facing but also outlining possible solutions is the hallmark of a true professional – one that has the company’s best interests (and not his or her ego) at heart. Asking employees for possible solutions can provide fresh ideas you may not have thought of, and employees will appreciate being given an opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of the business.
  2. Take time to truly get to the core of the issue. The best way to avoid repeating a mistake or losing out on an opportunity in the future is to truly learn from it when it happens the first time. This takes focused introspection and a willingness to be honest with yourself about shortcomings and flaws that contributed to the less-than-desired initial outcome. Once you have isolated the core issue, make sure to update all necessary processes and systems, so that all parties involved know their new role and requirements. This will help guarantee that the issue won’t be repeated again in the future.
  3. Find something good to take away from the experience. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for, and adverse business situations are no exception. If you are able to learn something constructive from a setback, then it will prove – in the end – to be a benefit to your business in some way as you grow. Sure, it may still sting a little, but finding something positive to take away from the experience will sharpen your skills moving forward and will cultivate a positive attitude that will empower your future self and your team.

Are you facing a business setback or disappointment? Start down the path to overcoming it with poise by finding at least 2 positive takeaway elements to focus on. Applying these positive ideas will help prevent what happened from repeating itself, if at all possible. By shifting your perspective from one of disappointment to one of gratitude, you will be well on your way to moving past the setback and setting your sights on future success.

To help you overcome obstacles or setbacks, apply Strategic Thinking practices to your business, so you can accelerate your success by allowing a crystal-clear focus to drive daily tasks – for you and your team.  To download a complimentary copy of a strategic thinking model, go to https://accountabilitycoach.com/strategic-thinking-model/.


Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could it use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life! Reach out today for your complimentary consultation. 

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