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Really? When you hear someone say to you, “…, it’s not personal.” Does your brain automatically think, gee, this isn’t about me, it’s about the world at large? I doubt it!
It’s like when Sam says to Georgia, “It’s not personal, but your work is the pits!” Now tell me, are you going to hear that statement and say, “Oh, that’s not a slam against me?” Of course not! IT IS PERSONAL!
And that is because we are emotionally involved in our work – after all, it is where we spend a third of our day. Being emotionally involved makes you a great employee and if you aren’t emotionally involved in your work then you are in the wrong job or perhaps even the wrong organization.
This saying got a lot of attention in the film, The Godfather when Michael Corleone develops his plan to kill his rival mob boss and the corrupt police chief. Sonny, his brother, laughs it off lets Michael know that it’s business and he is taking it personally. Michael Corleone replies “It’s not personal Sonny. It’s strictly business!” Fortunately, we understand that Michael Corleone was wrong! Yes, totally wrong!
It stings, it hurts when that statement is used, and it usually is, to remind us that something is not right about us. And that’s the truth.
So, if you want to protect yourself around those words that you hear, consider this:
- Understand yourself – by knowing yourself well you can look behind the “It’s not personal.” statement and recognize what may be true or not true in the statement
- Let others know what your hopes and dreams are – this way they see you as human in the relationship and not merely a number; someone who gets the job done
- Ask questions – it is okay to say, “I am not certain what you mean, could you please give more information about ….” – this provides you with more time to ascertain the truthfulness of what is being said and whether there is valid information here for you
- Don’t default on your own commitments – walk your talk – whatever it is you’ve said you will do, stand by your commitment and just do it
- Watch your own words to others – be kind, generous, thoughtful and caring – others need you to support them and build their power, not to tear them down
Whether at work or at home or in the community take the time to never allow it to be, “It’s not personal!” Everything is personal – everyone cares! Be sure to be the kind of friend and co-worker or manager that you want, not one that puts you down and makes you feel like you don’t matter.
Each morning, start with your own growth – a daily plan including: gratitude, meditation, exercise and a focus on what the result of the day is. Being emotionally strong allows you to let those who say, “It’s just business!” not leave an impression your psyche.
Well, a great thank you to our Emergency Department at the General Hospital – never an easy department to have to attend. It was delightful to see the pleasant and positive approach for this harried staff. I can certainly attest to the people needing help coming and going the entire time I was there. Yet each staff member was so helpful and makes you feel that you are the only one that matters! Yes, using your name, smiling under their masks, and sharing and answering questions.
How often have you had a tense experience where the service personnel were beyond attentive? Please share your experience with me.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
”Those who say “it’s not personal, it’s just business” are lying. All business is personal, and the best business is very personal.”
― Rick Lenz