It’s hard to handle emotions when they rotate between positive and negative as if on a roller coaster:

  • A loss is harder to deal with if you had been pulling off an upset for the majority of the game.
  • It’s worse to hear that your car needs major repairs a month after an accident if you thought you had escaped with only minor damage.
  • A serious diagnosis is harder to accept if the doctor recently told you that your health was fine.
  • Getting fired is gut-wrenching if your last quarter’s results were positive.

You can’t prepare for all the negative situations but try to keep your emotions grounded in short time periods rather than assuming the current status reflects the permanent state. It’s better to internalize that “We’re winning – for now” or that “The car appears to be running well – at this time”. The roller coaster still might take a dip, but at least you’ll be holding on to the handlebars and be better able to absorb it.


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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