I start with a quote from Friedrich Durrenmatt who was a Swiss author and dramatist, "Emotions have no place in business unless you do business with them."
So, what are emotions? An emotion is a strong feeling of fear, anger, sadness, happiness, love, etc. Emotions are natural reactions to situations. Every human being has emotions and now and then we tend to suffer from emotional or mood disorders.
When you start a business, you tend to carry it as your newborn baby - feed it, pamper it, protect it, and do all sorts of things to ensure that the business is a success. Sometimes it becomes difficult to draw the line between your emotions and your business. This can get in the way of making hard decisions.
Let's discuss ways in which you can separate your emotions from your business.
1. Strictly Business Attitude
Taking things personally will cloud your judgement. The more emotional you are about things, the less logical your decisions will be. Have you ever looked back at some terrible decisions you made and asked yourself, 'What was I thinking?' Perhaps, in retrospect, you made your decisions out of emotions rather than logic.
Maintaining a "sura ya kazi" attitude when doing business with family and friends can be quite challenging. I know some entrepreneurs have regretted some actions they took, and have stayed mum about those actions. You need to find a balance that is vital for success.
Try as much as possible to step outside the situation and see what's best for the business. It may hurt sometimes, but it's got to be done anyway.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence - the ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own emotions and the emotions of others - makes the crucial difference between mediocre and outstanding entrepreneurs. The skills involved are self-motivation, self-awareness, empathy, social skills, and self-regulation.
Emotionally intelligent people can recognize their own emotions and appropriately express, regulate and manage them. As an entrepreneur, you will experience very many challenges, hence the need to think before taking any action.
"Emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs have the ability to step back and evaluate situations before making any decisions."
These people make more thoughtful business decisions. They can keep their emotions in check and can discuss tough, sensitive issues thoughtfully and maturely.
3. Pause And Think
When you have a habit of pausing before acting, you cultivate a habit of thinking first. You will give yourself time to manage your emotions before making any decisions.
By taking the time to think things through, you'll find that your reaction is usually much different than it would have been, had you not taken the time to think before acting.
You can't afford to make wrong decisions that will affect your business negatively.
4. Examine Your Past Decisions
Learn from your bad decisions but don't dwell on them. Try and determine whether those decisions were made out of emotions, what those emotions were, and what to do in the future should the need arise. Determine how those decisions affected your business.
Even Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg once advised people not to avoid making mistakes. He said the important part is to learn from them, bounce back quickly, and never give up. Since you can't run a business without making mistakes, especially mistakes brought about by emotional decisions, you should go back and re-examine those mistakes, learn from them and move on.
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