Quit Taking It Personally

Every week I put out a tip (a Leadership Tip). This week, it's a QTIP... an acronym for 'Quit Taking It Personally'.

Business isn't built on emotion, but the people who serve in them are. Business is established to solve problems, provide service and turn a profit. Entrepreneurs and employees need to develop a thick skin approach to deflect some of the feeling associated with conflict, rejection, reprimands and the likes of 'corrections' that are dealt while maintaining quality and profit.

In the fourth of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey offers the relationship advise of "Go For Win/Win". The idea isn't about being nice, or giving in, or the opposite. It's a principal for character building toward human interaction and collaboration.

In relationships of all types, win/win ensures a mutual benefit. All involved must be winning, or growing, or there is no foundation for a long-term relationship. In business, sales, negotiations, transactions, agreements, terms and conditions, there needs to be a basis of gain for all parties. The only alternative to win/win is no deal! Win/lose doesn't stand the test of time, nor does lose/win, therefore, not all arrangements are suitable to ma I ntain a business relationship, and for that reason, we can't take things personally. Again, that's easier said than done.

My parents often said "Friends are friends and business is business and you shouldn't do business with friends", because it's easier to give and receive honest feedback when 'personal relationships' aren't at stake.

Next week you'll hear that I got fired by my web developer of 20 years. My assistant was mortified by his email, (he copied her on his rant to me). She called me after she read the email to console me. My response was, "It's just business Monica, I don't take it personally," and that was the end of it.

It took me many years, and a whole lot of Q-tips to choose higher thoughts over the emotions that come from business deals. In fact, I keep one in the pencil tray of my desk drawer. Besides having very clean ears, I'm constantly reminded not to take business personally.