Tuesday, September 6, 2011

3 Steps to Handling the Unexpected

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Harvard Business Review Blog
Peter BregmanPeter Bregman

Peter Bregman is a strategic advisor to CEOs and their leadership teams. His latest book is 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. To receive an email when he posts, click here.

Trying to predict the future is futile. Instead, be ready to respond. When the unexpected arrives at your door, do these three things:

  • Stop. If you feel pressured to make a decision, stop what you're doing. Give yourself a chance to think before acting. 
  • Assess your options. Don't waste time wishing things were different. Think about the best outcome in the given situation, the information you have at hand, and the available resources. Then lay out your options.
  • Move forward. Based on your new assessment, make a decision and commit. Even if the decision isn't ideal, accept that it's the best under the circumstances.
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