Things aren’t going to go as smoothly as all that. Either a superior will backpedal, or the person you thought you could depend on will disclose that they spoke too soon. It's dispiriting, but it doesn't mean you're sunk. What it means is you're going to have to do some hand holding. Whether it's reassuring a boss suffering from a case of cold feet or gently prodding a go-between to deliver as promised, you'll need to employ a soft touch. This isn't something you typically do, but you may discover you're a lot better at it than you thought – especially when prospects improve after January 8th.

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