The irrational side of us wants to avoid learning information that we suspect will be negative. We don’t get our cholesterol checked because we fear that the numbers will be high. We pile up the bills instead of opening them if we worry that the checkbook doesn’t have enough funds to cover them. We stay off the scale rather than face the unwelcome number. We skip over that email on an unpleasant topic rather than reading it. We wait until April to look at our taxes because we dread learning how much we owe.

Ignoring unpleasant facts does not change them, rather it just depletes the time you have to remedy the situation. If you owe money, you owe it, regardless of whether you open the mail. And the sooner you know the details, the quicker you are able to make arrangements or develop options to deal with it.

Instead of speculating or avoiding negative news, embrace the knowing as a head start. You’ll have that much more time to reverse the situation if you spend your energy on the remedy instead of the avoidance.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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