Business decisions tend to be very personal. The “it’s not personal, it’s just business” adage is largely baloney. It is personal and anyone who tells you otherwise is generally lying.
There is, however, strong reason for you to not take things personally. Decisions are not a result of objective truth simply because there is no objective truth when people are involved. And, more importantly, decisions are functions of the specific situation. Situations, in turn, are functions of the context, the motives and character of all the actors. In a decision that involves you, you are just one actor out of the many that might be involved. You don’t control their motives and character and definitely don’t control the context. So, taking it personally is just a recipe to ensuring you feel hurt whenever a decision that involves you does’t go your way.
So, any business decision that involves you is personal. There’s no getting away from that.
But, for your sanity, don’t take them personally. Reflect on what you were meant to learn from the situation and move onto the next thing.
Cynthia once recalled an incident from when she was 12 years old. Her father promised to take her with him on a business trip to San Francisco. For months, they talked about the trip. “After his meetings, we planned to take a taxi to Chinatown, have our favorite food, see a movie, ride the cable car, and have a hot-fudge sundae. I was bursting with anticipation,” she recalled.
When the day finally arrived, Cynthia waited eagerly for her father to finish work. At 6:30pm, he arrived, but with an influential business client who offered to take them out for dinner. She felt her heart sink.
In a never-to-be-forgotten moment, her father simply said to his client: “I’d love to see you. But, my girl and I have planned a special evening to the minute.” So, together, father and daughter did everything according to their plans. “That was just about the happiest time of my life. I don’t think any young girl ever loved her father as much as I loved mine that night,” she says.
Cynthia’s father was none other than Stephen R Covey. Covey did put “first things first.” Here’s to all of us doing so over the holidays…
Every time we say yes to something that doesn’t matter, we implicitly say no to something else that does. And, conversely, every time we say no to something that is lower priority, we implicitly say yes to something that matters. – Anonymous
Source and thanks to: Essentialism by Greg McKeown