You think? I believe the best leaders in business understand that business is personal. When we conduct business, we work with people. People. When we work with people we know that those people have a wonderful, expansive, creative layer of emotions. When engaged, those emotions thrill us when we have a great day, they intuitively guide our decisions when we listen to them, they excite us when we get something right or do something well and they motivate us when we connect with others in a positive way…. you with me? However, when they are ignored or dismissed by the ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’ mindset we feel crushed. Our emotional layer, the limbic system in our brain, isn’t something we can switch off when it suits others. Quite the opposite in fact, interaction with others may put us into a mode not dissimilar to scanning for any potential threat they may bring! We almost go looking for it. Here I could publish many stories, from my team and individual coaching work, of people diminished in a moment through the impact of this mindset. I don’t think I need to, I am guessing you all have your own stories and for the majority of us, at some point we may have been invited to act from that mindset ourselves. But why is this mindset prevalent today? Take your pick from a number of observations I make below (and please add your own voice in the comments below if you have notices of your own to offer)
- I witness a cultural need to separate people (emotions) and task (delivery), so prominent in hierarchies and businesses where often the reason given is that the ‘bottom line’ has to be the focus.
- Maybe it’s about laziness, having a focus on task is often easier and less time consuming and some simply won’t commit the energy to compliment that with a focus on people.
- Leadership values play a part for some. For example, for those keen (above all else) to make an impact, they may not notice the collateral damage left in their wake.
- Perhaps it’s a sign of being bold, cutting your losses (read people), moving fast (arguably too fast) and taking risks under the name of entrepreneurship.
- Some admit it’s about being ill-educated ….not sure how to connect, not sure how to work with things that touch the hearts of others. These people do feel it but have often learned to look the other way, it doesn’t hurt so much or slow them in anyway.