Ask Timpo: How do I debrief disappointed staff

A: Everyone likes winning but you can’t win them all. Don’t allow the disappointment to sap your confidence – have a frank brainstorming session. A thorough post-mortem is the best way to prepare for the next presentation. This is not a good time for internal bickering or looking for a scapegoat.

As well as self-analysis, try to obtain some outside advice. Why not ask the companies who turned you down to give a second opinion” If they are the type of people who are happy to see you, they will probably tell you the truth – then you’ll really know why you didn’t win the contracts. Another possibility is to re-run your presentation to a neutral audience – friends or other customers – who is willing to sit through your pitch and give an honest assessment.

Don’t let the soul searching go on for too long. There is a danger that you can become obsessed with failure. Your team needs to look forward to the next challenge with the confidence they will do themselves justice and come out winning a deal.

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