There are time where we’re left trying to figure out how to make the most of a given situation. Sometimes those situations are mundane, while during other times, they are much more serious. In either case, part of what it means to be an effective leader and a capable learner is the ability to move past challenges, and come up with the best negotiated resolution.
The thing about negotiation is that in the best case, neither party is entirely happy. If someone gets everything they want, then it isn’t truly a negotiation, and if no one gets any of what they want, then there is really no “making the best of” anything.
I’ve learned so far in my life that there are a few ways to move towards “making the most of.” Here are three things that always tend to help (at least for me):
· Recognize that once someone else is involved in a situation, it is never just about me. Making the most of a given situation requires that we realize that very few situations involve us alone. As such, the more people involved, the more likely a scenario is to progress in ways different from what we first imagined. This is important, as we must always remember that we don’t just decide for ourselves.
· Take a deep breath. I’ve learned that situations are rarely as bad as I think they are at first. By taking a deep breath, grounding myself, and then thinking about the challenge at hand, I’ve become much more capable of seeing the silver lining in all clouds.
· Focus on problem solving, rather than problem identifying. If we want to look through a lens of “making the most of” then we need to focus on solutions, as opposed to just identifying. This doesn’t mean we know all there is to know or have every answer ready in our pockets. But, it does mean we think through a solving lens, and work with others to do the same.
We can make the most of whatever comes our way simply by remembering that one of our tasks as life-long learners is to always continue to learn. We’re apt to do this much more effectively when we strive to make the most of every situation that comes our way!