I follow Anthony Iannarino, international speaker, author and sales leader, at his blog The Sales Blog. Every Sunday he sends his loyal followers a newsletter in which he gives tips, advice and encouragement on how to improve one’s sales technique. Often these newsletters are supported by personal anecdotes and insights and, combined with Anthony’s reliable, personal response to inquiries or feedback, I have the feeling of a personal sales coach in my corner.

Anthony’s most recent newsletter was titled, “How to stay productive in a time of crisis.” Having suffercrisis-public-relationsed more than my share of crises, I read this newsletter with particular interest. His tips centered around three points:

  1. Make an exhaustive list of what has your attention.
  2. Determine your longer term goal.
  3. Determine your priorities now.

I missed something crucial in this list: being honest and realistic about your situation. Nobody likes to disappoint, and we all do our best to continue to deliver results despite our circumstances. But there comes a point where we have to be honest, both with others as well as ourselves, about our situation, come to terms with it and, most importantly, communicate it clearly. In small crises (illness) and large, evaluating and communicating honestly keeps expectations realistic.