Many years ago, I was fortunate to work for an amazing woman. One thing I learnt from her was this: emotion has no place in business.
As painful as it is, Bosses, Recruiting Managers, Clients & Customers, very rarely care about our problems; they are only interested in Solutions. They may feign concern out of politeness but too many excuses about your problems & why you cannot deliver, and they will soon be off to the next employee, candidate, competitor or supplier.
This fact seems to be lost on some youth who constantly complain about their bosses or HR not “understanding” that they have too much on their plate; that they are juggling too many issues; that they cannot cope with work and studies. It has never occurred to these young people to put themselves in the shoes of their boss or customers for example, who also have pressures of their own.
If for example, you supply fish to a customer (let us call him John), who then sells your fish in his restaurant as a main course. John needs to buy the fish from you at 5am to ensure he gets back to his restaurant by 7am to clean, cook and serve it to his restaurant customers by 12pm. John therefore relies on you every day, his clients in turn, rely on him to have their favourite fish stew ready by 12pm. Unfortunately, you are not at your shop on Monday, then on Tuesday your shop remains closed and you have not even contacted John to give him an explanation. So now you are putting not only yours, but John’s business at risk – his fish stew customers are now starting to grumble. What is John to do? He has a family to support? Unfortunately, John will simply move on and look for another supplier. Simple.
While John may sympathise with you, after a whole week filled with excuses, he has no choice but to drop you – after all, business is business. His customers are tired of hearing that John’s fish supplier i.e. you, has still not showed up to work and has not made alternative arrangements.
The lady above who I worked for, had, had a baby and was on maternity leave. She was due to be off for 3 months maternity leave but as the main bread winner in the family (her husband was very ill), she could not take time off. Instead, about two weeks after giving birth, we walked into a client presentation together and she gave the presentation of her life! I was stunned. Her baby was in the car with her friend, while I (at the time a student), was assisting her over my university holiday. She needed this deal. She knew her husband’s medical bills were mounting and this was affecting finance at home. But at that meeting, you would NEVER have guessed it. The clients (all serious men in dark suits were impressed). Every question they asked, she was able to answer.
As we walked back to the lift, I turned to ask her how she managed to contain her emotions knowing her husband was very ill at a time they should have been celebrating the baby’s birth. She looked at me and said “Miriam, those men you saw in there are not interested in my problems. They too have clients to answer to and they need a Consultant they can rely on. The money this deal would give me could make the difference between my husband surviving or not. I will do all that I can to ensure he gets the best medical attention we can afford.”
WOW! This lady was not the cold blooded woman I’d thought she was. Instead, it was her love for her family that pushed her to put emotion aside and face her challenges head on. Needless to say, she won the deal. Fast forward and her baby is now at university while her husband (who recovered thanks to proper medical care), and her are a happily retired couple. LESSON? Sometimes in life we have to put emotion(s) aside to deal with challenges. We have no choice. So, face your challenges and be strong. Wishing you all, strength to cope with challenges thrown your way. To read more posts by Miriam, click HERE