Two Traits That Help You Run Your Business With Calmness
Whether you think of it much or not, your day-to-day habits and actions directly impact your business. Two traits that help us thrive in life and in business are emotional maturity and leadership.
If we have those two traits they show up in ways that help us deal with the issues that come up every day in business. If we don’t have these traits, we often fall into a habit of bitching about what we won’t fix.
Emotional maturity and leadership help us handle conflicts without losing our sense of stability and calm. Not long ago, one of my neighbors provided a great example of what happens when these traits are missing. This neighbor loves to get on the community website Next Door. (Next Door is a free private social network for each neighborhood in the United States.)
In our neighborhood, Next Door is fairly active. This particular guy started bitching about the fact that there is somebody in our neighborhood who is walking their dog around his house, and is not picking up after the dog. Rather than going outside and talking to the dog's owner, my neighbor decided to post his complaint on Next Door. As you might guess, this did not solve his issue. So, he posted every day, bitching that someone’s dog has been using his yard.
Every morning I saw a new complaint, and this went on for several weeks. Rather than showing leadership and emotional maturity by talking to his offending neighbor directly, he would post another complaint. He wanted all his neighbors to commiserate with him about how awful and terrible his problem was. He also wanted the dog’s owner to see his complaint on Next Door and start picking up after his dog, so that he didn't have to go outside and confront the dog's owner directly.
When complaining every day on Next Door didn't work, my neighbor upped his game. He started posting pictures every morning, a close-up shot of the pile of dog poop. He was trying to agitate the situation and get other people to join in condemning the irresponsible dog owner. But, of course, all his posting and pictures did not end the problem.
Leadership Means Tackling Your Problems Without Going Through Others
When you try to fix a problem indirectly, through other people, you're doing what a psychotherapist would call triangulation. Rather than acting in an emotionally mature way, you're trying to involve somebody else to do your work for you. You’re not stepping up and exhibiting leadership of your own life.
Triangulation is not the way to get things done. It often backfires because it stirs other people up rather than solving a problem.
After seeing a number of dog poop pictures and realizing that the neighbor still was busy complaining rather than acting, I decided to post on Next Door, too. I agreed that I didn’t like it when people failed to pick up after their dogs. And then, I suggested that to solve his problem, he approach it directly by sitting outside on his porch in the morning, with his cup of coffee, and find out who the culprit was. Once he identified the person, then take an action as an emotionally mature adult. Talk to this person face to face and say, “Please don't let your dog poop in my yard because I don't want to see the poop. And, it’s a neighborhood rule that dog owners must pick up after their dogs.”
When we have emotional maturity and leadership, we calmly address what is bugging us rather than complaining to everyone else about what's happening. Our rule of thumb should be, “Don't bitch about what you won't fix.”
Leadership and Emotional Maturity Go Hand In Hand
Go talk to someone who is offending you directly, in an emotionally mature way, without causing a ruckus or a fist fight. Say something like, “You know, in this neighborhood it's a rule that we pick up after our dogs. I am noticing you walking by my house every morning, letting your dog poop in my yard and then not picking up. I would appreciate it if you would please bring a bag and pick up your dog poop.” Taking an action to solve your problem makes you the leader of your life. It demonstrates emotional maturity on your part. It makes your life and your business run with less problems and more ease.
When we triangulate and try to get other people to do our work for us it has long-term negative effects. In a neighborhood, posting such things on Next Door serves to arouse a lot of bad feelings in the neighborhood. It breaks community spirit instead of building up community spirit. Our actions work better if we are builders rather than destroyers.
You might wonder what this has to do with you as an entrepreneur. I promise that at some point in owning your own business you will have to confront someone’s bad behavior. If you feel fearful when you have to confront a problem you will dread and avoid the situation. But if you show your leadership skills in that moment, you will be building your own reputation and that of your business, rather than destroying it. You will become known as someone who treats people fairly, doesn’t try to stir up trouble and get others to do your work, and is a problem solver. This benefits you and your business. Clients trust you to be even-keeled. They know they can come to you with an issue and you won’t react. Instead, you’ll respond.
Emotional maturity and leadership are two traits that, in my opinion, we need more of right now. We all benefit. Be a builder, not a destroyer. Leadership in business requires more than we are taught in school.
Lead your business, show your emotional maturity, and solve your problems directly rather than through others. It makes leadership and life a lot easier and smoother.