Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nothing Personal

One of the best pieces of professional advice I ever received was from a supervisor early on in my professional career who reminded me to “never put your personal feelings ahead of what is best for your organization. If you always do the right thing for the company, everything will work out.”

I realize this is easier said than done, but keeping emotions in check is not only critical to success but is also a stress reducer. Excellent leaders are passionate people and it certainly can be a challenge to not let your feelings rule the day. But emotions—whether it is anger or enthusiasm—can have a negative impact on decisions that need to be made for your organization.

So, what is a team leader to do?
  • First and foremost, before you make any decision, take inventory of what you are really thinking and feeling about the decision that needs to be made.
  • Then, put that aside and move to spending time identifying the real issue that you need to address.
  • Tease out all of tangential factors that are irrelevant to the discussion or the decision. Remove personal biases, disconnect this decision from your own personal agenda, excitement or plans, etc.
  • Come up with a list of questions that need to be answered and all the factors that truly need to be considered when making a decision. Your final question should always be “is this decision the best for my team and the organization?”
  • Finally, once you have come to a decision, prepare how you will deliver it. If you are dealing one-on-one with team members, think about your best approach. Think about what you will say and how you will say it.

At the end of the day, don’t let your emotions become a detriment to your team or your organization. Keep your emotions in check when making a big decision and keep your eye on the real prize—doing what is best for your organization.

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