Proper Responses to Disappointment

How well do the leaders in your organization share their disappointment?

Leaders who provide constructive responses to disappointment reflect an honorable character worthy of following, describes Robin Camarote in This involves learning the skills of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.  An experienced executive coach is a great resource to help you in this area.

When people let you down focus on identifying the issues and help them improve. Although the immediate desire may be to vent or convict people, it’s quite damaging and works against you in the long run. The truth is, there aren’t many people who have a desire to work on solutions after they’re condemned.

Expressing disappointment is very acceptable, as long as it’s done in a way that inspires corrective action and positive attitudes. Calmness and objective reasoning are key. Working through solutions is best done directly by engaging and helping them.

When this topic comes up with my coaching clients we discuss how teams make corrections at an amazing pace when you identify the situation as the problem, rather than the employees. Of course, if certain people have fallen short of expectations, a one-on-one approach is best. A problem employee may need an attitude change, a role change or an employment change, depending on the nature of the issue.

When the company or its top leaders disappoint you, assess yourself first. Reflect on and identify your motive, attitude and goals before expressing concerns. Presenting an assertive and positive response is the only way to arrive at a beneficial outcome. Anything less makes you appear to be the problem, and then your problems are just beginning.

Leaders who regret disappointing their people need a humble and transparent approach in order to set things straight. Assess your contribution to the problem and the reasons for it. This is best accomplished with the assistance of another trusted perspective, such as a co-leader or coach.

Improvement is the goal. Devise a plan to address shortcomings and unify your team. Then show them how you’re going to help them succeed. This is often the most difficult type of disappointment for leaders to overcome but the rewards are unlimited.

What’s been your proudest moment in sharing your feelings of disappointment? I’d love to hear from you.

Explore how to navigate disappointment with the support of a coach – schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Meeting with me.