Parents with school age children understand it’s “spring sport” time. This is a process that happens throughout the year as the seasons change. Tryouts. Teams. Excitement. Disappointment. It can be difficult for a child not to make a team or not get the position they hoped for. It can be difficult for a loved one to help that child when they feel hurt.

However, we should view this as an opportunity. We can’t always expect to “win” or get what we want. We often have little control or influence over an outcome and there can often be a number of factors, including subjective judgment and decision making. Therefore, it is great learning to have the tools to deal with and process disappointment or what is perceived as failing, and to avoid the mindset of being a victim of the situation. These are life skills we owe our children and ourselves. Learning them at a young age can help us prepare for more mature situations such as not being selected for a job, being missed on a promotion, board or project or other personal or professional relationships.

Here are a few thoughts on how to approach a disappointing situation:

  • Manage emotion.
  • Review expectations – Disappointment can stem from someone else getting something you felt you deserved or not living up to your own expectations.
  • Own what you can change but don’t make excuses.
  • Take a big picture perspective.
  • Make a decision on what you are going to do differently.
  • Reflect on where there are opportunities for self- development.

Recently, I was speaking with a midcareer woman at a successful company. She shared she had applied for a new position in a different area of the firm as an opportunity for personal and professional growth.  She had been disappointed when she did not get it. (Manage emotion)  However, when she stepped back she realized she had not demonstrated all her strengths and how they applied to the role.  (Review Expectations) She then decided  to gain additional experiences outside the “traditional” that would help grow and take her own skills to a new level. (Self Development) As a result, she has been getting exposure throughout the company which has led her potentially to a bigger opportunity.  She took what was initially a “failure” and made it a prospect that she is driving. (Make a decision) Her ability to overcome her emotional reaction to her situation allowed her to control what was next. She was able to focus on her career, not on that one position. (take a big picture perspective)

We will all handle our own situations differently.  I would suggest pausing and reviewing more than how you feel in the moment. Make sure your tool box is full and look for guidance and support. Disappointment can prove to be a great method of growth and development.

To learn more about MCG Partners’ career coaching, development and transition services contact John Griffith at or visit

About MCG Partners

MCG Partners a woman-owned and certified consulting firm specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, organizational effectiveness, talent management and career management solutions.  We help businesses optimize success through the entire management life-cycle.  MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.