When something unexpected happens in your personal or professional lives, it's natural to focus on how unexpected and disorienting it can be. In the face of these curveballs, information gathering and triaging is particularly useful. In order to find your grounding again, it's vital to gather more information about the context, the players, and the potential impact of this particular shift. That goes for the situation itself, as well as your inner experience of it. Noticing the personal impact of change, challenge, and opportunity on your psyche and body will help you understand how your nervous system is responding to the unexpected.
That being said, when you catch yourself feeling disoriented, shocked, or taken aback, the key to grounding is to lower your levels of uncertainty. The bridge to that is to gather more information and triage it as you learn more. Why? Because greater knowledge contributes to lowering the noise in your mind when faced with an unexpected situation or curveball.
So, here are five questions to consider when gathering info:
What do I know to be true at this time about myself, my people, and this situation?
How does this curveball alter the context we were operating within?
Who are the key people that I need to connect with in order to learn more and be mindful of what I might be missing?
How might I help those impacted feel seen, heard, and understood?
What do I need to make explicit to myself or others in order to reduce the current level of uncertainty and manage expectations around navigating this turn of events?
Once you've gathered enough information to get a better sense of what this curveball represents, it's time to triage the information you've acquired. You can use these 5 questions:
How has, if at all, this turn of events changed what I know to be true about myself, my people, or this situation?
What are the new considerations I need to keep in mind within this new context we're operating in?
Who are the key people who have the skillset and level of influence needed to address this curveball in constructive, growth-promoting, and solution-oriented ways?
While I support others and based on what I've learned about the situation, what supports do I need to access in order to leverage my own skillset and level of influence to embody my purpose in sustainable ways?
Based on the information I now have, what system or process do we need to keep a finger on the pulse as to the effects of this curveball?
In the midst of uncertainty, these questions can help you and nervous system ground long enough to sit with the effects of change and create a plan to navigate it in the least harmful ways possible. This skill is especially important as you embrace self-leadership, team leadership, and business leadership in the midst of dynamic situations.
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