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Dealing with Unfair Outcomes (in sports and business)

Sports is entertainment. I get that. I'm a sports broadcaster and a fan. I see the fun side of sports every day, but I also see all the different ways sports helps us make better decisions in our own professional lives.

For example, dealing with outcomes that aren't fair. It sucks. It sucks when you run into bad luck. You know who experiences that more often than you do? Athletes.  

When you watch sports you are watching professional development in real time. Athletes are professionals. They're building their skillset right in front of you and one of those skillsets is dealing with bad luck and outcomes that aren't fair. 

Here are the two things I see athletes do most often in those situations:

1. Acknowledge it sucks. Be honest with your feelings. They definitely commiserate with each other in the locker room or clubhouse. 

2. Evaluate their effort. It won't change the outcome, but when an athlete has done everything they can to prepare and execute in that moment they can better accept the outcome. It doesn't mean they like it, but it does mean they don't waste their time or effort bemoaning what happened. They don't pout in a corner. They don't keep talking about how unfair it was. They move on and prepare for the next opportunity. 

We all experience situations that leave us saying "that's not fair." If you need a reminder on how to approach those moments, use the response of your favorite athlete (whether positive or negative) as a gauge for how you respond when you encounter an outcome that isn't fair at work.


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