It is harder to receive bad news after you have heard good expectations than it is to learn bad news after bad or right from the start.
> If you think the metrics are trending positively, it is more difficult to deal with when they turn sour.
> If you won the lawsuit, it is harder to lose on appeal than if you had lost in the first round.
> If you have positive lab results and the disease seems to be under control, it makes it more challenging when it relapses.
> If you hear that someone is in an accident, but is “ok”, it is harder to grasp when it turns out not to be so.
I believe we naturally set our expectations on one outcome and anchor our emotions to that. When the tides shift and the news is a reverse of our initial projections, it requires some mental gymnastics to handle the ups and downs of the communication.
Be cautious about setting a positive tone prematurely. Temper your news and outlook with a dose of reality and anticipate the potential outcomes. Save the victory dance for what is truly the last lap.
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