When someone tells you in a business situation that it is not personal, all this means is that it is not personal to them. Sir Isaac Newton said “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This is known as ‘Causality’, there are always consequences or a response to an action or event.
In business you cannot always separate the personal issue and the professional issue in your decision-making. Mind Tools state that difficult decisions typically involve issues like:
· Uncertainty – Many facts may not be known.
· Complexity – You have to consider many interrelated factors. (such as family circumstances)
· High-risk consequences – The impact of the decision may be significant.
· Alternatives – Each has its own set of uncertainties and consequences.
· Interpersonal issues – It can be difficult to predict how other people will react. (staff, customers, competitors) http://bit.ly/NA8SYB
Quite reasonable decisions will almost always have a personal effect on someone; whether it is on your employees, your suppliers or your customers. It is difficult for others to see all the factors which influenced the decision; so never forget that business is personal, how personal will depend on your perspective.
An example of being between a rock and a hard place: I was project leader managing several independent contractors one of which was the bosses’ wife (I can hear your alarms bells loud and clear). The bosses’ wife had had a baby and was continuing to work on the project but due to limited childcare facilities, she requested that all the project meetings be held at her home office, which was one hour journey from HQ.
I had gone to the couple’s wedding and had a distant friendship with the boss before joining the project. I explained to the bosses wife that it was not reasonable for contractors who had already travelled an hour into HQ, to then travel further with all the project materials for all the project meetings; but conceded that I was happy for her to have all her team meetings in her home office and that I that I would try to work around her childcare limitations in setting project meetings.
The project progressed well. Before the boss went his two week holiday I had received an excellent project feedback result. However, when the boss returned, during what I thought was our planned review meeting, I was told it was ‘not working out’. That it! I was off the project and out of the job. Business is always personal! To find out what happened read part 2 of my blog post on Monday 18th June
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.