When I heard his story, I wanted to scream with him and for him. But screaming at water under the bridge just brings more rapids. I paused for what was an uncomfortably long time. Then, I whispered, “I know this hurts. But you have to stop. Kick and scream and get it all out, and then take a deep breath and take off on the high road.”
It’s true that John didn’t deserve this. Passionately devoted to the company mission, he’d invested years of hard work and extra hours. His team teased that he bled the company colors. There’s no other way to say this. He’d been screwed. The details don’t matter. You can fill them in with your own history or imagination. What matters now is what he does next.
5 Ways to Respond When You’ve Been Screwed Over
The truth is everyone is watching your reaction. Chances are most folks know that what just happened wasn’t fair. Handling this disappointment elegantly will foster deep respect.
1. Stop Talking
Not to everybody–but chose your words and your audiences carefully. Your angry words will travel faster and farther than you ever thought possible.
2. Don’t Be a Blamer
Accusations make terrible leadership apparel.
3. Don’t Give Up
If you fold your tent, the bad guys really win. Stay committed to the cause and to your career.
4. Channel Your Energy to Create Something Extraordinary
You’re fired up. Use that powerful emotional energy to fuel your creativity and your next stand-out move.
5. Let Your Anger Inform Your Leadership
When the time is right, step back and assess what really happened here. Make a vow to yourself to never screw over anyone in the way you’ve been screwed.
This is more than lemons and lemonade. Your team is watching. Your brand is at stake. Respond as the leader you are.