How do YOU deal with bad news?

My new year’s resolution this 2011 is to practice what I call UNFEAR – confidence in one’s ability to overcome the odds, and to create a positive outcome no matter what the circumstance.

Well, much like many of you out there, this morning when I woke up I read that hundreds birds are falling out of the sky in Arkansas, hundreds if not thousands of crabs and fish are washing up on the shore on both coasts of the US, Australia is under water, and the U.S. education system is slipping in the science rankings, leading to our inability to compete internationally for high quality jobs.

So what’s a girl to do with all this overwhelming information? It’s hard to stay focused on the positive when dire circumstances keep coming up…and particularly those circumstances we can’t control. I use the four practices of UNFEAR –

Accept the real and focus on the future
Build relationships and community
View challenges as opportunities
Practice physical and mental discipline

What are the practices that enable YOU to stay focused on positive outcomes when you’re taken by surprise? How do you deal with the onslaught of negative messages that come your way? Join the discussion and your comment or question may be featured in my next blog…


About karlinsloan

Karlin Sloan has committed herself to finding out what makes great leaders tick, and to supporting leaders to be the change they wish to see in the world. As a corporate citizen she is an advocate for triple-bottom-line reporting, for creating sustainable ways of working and living, and for creating positive organizational communities that work together for the greater good. She is the author of the acclaimed business book Smarter, Faster, Better; Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership which has been translated into Thai and Russian, UNFEAR: Facing Change in an Era of Uncertainty, and co-author of the 2012 book Lemonade: The Leaders Guide to Resilience at Work. For more information see or
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3 Responses to How do YOU deal with bad news?

  1. karlinsloan says:

    Thanks so much for the comments! Absolutely our business models are changing…and we need to do the same. I love the idea of re-checking the “givens” – it may be that our thinking is putting up challenges and boundaries that really aren’t there.

    And Susan, I agree, it’s all about coming back to our relationships – with self, other, and to our external environment. Watch for more information on resilience in upcoming blogs!

  2. Susan Spritz Myers says:

    This year I came back to writing in my journal almost on a daily basis. I find this practice of “morning pages” calms me down, especially with such tremendous negative news swirling around us at such higher rates of speed. I have great concerns about what is behind what caused the birds and fish to die. My thought is the real answer my not be shared with the public. What I do know is I can bring calm to my inner being by spending some time with self on the page! Karlin, I like where you are pointing us in challenging times- back to self & building community with each other!

  3. Karen Lang says:

    Remember 10 grade geometry? When faced with obstacles, I re-check the “givens”. I look for rules and contraints that may be self-imposed and find one that I can push past or eliminate. Most business models have changed dramatically and the old “givens” may not apply, but our organizations may still be operating as if they do.

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