It’s Mother’s Day today, so I thought it was only fitting to celebrate her and talk about something she’s taught me. Ever since I was young, my mind operated on black and white logic. I would ask everyone ‘why’ to the point of frustration because I needed to see a clear connection between how and why something happened. Unfortunately, when it comes to life and business, logic isn’t always the most effective or efficient approach. Especially now as we move into an age overwhelmingly filled with information where conversations are conducted via multiple channels around the world, we lose out on a lot of the face-to-face quality time we once had. What my mother taught me was, no matter the situation, emotion can play a crucial role in your success.
Recently, a close friend of my mother’s was diagnosed with cancer. She was divorced with two children and had led a life paying off her ex-husbands gambling debts and debts she had accumulated through her own addictive spending habits; she worked multiple jobs and brought up her kids with multiple credit cards because she didn’t know any better. It was truly a downwards spiral. This development in her health didn’t come at a good time, but rather than putting aside money for treatment, she continued to spend unnecessarily. Friends and family had given up trying to change her habits, others said that helping her in any way would merely fuel her spending and push her further down. My mother agreed, but this was also one of her closest friends she couldn’t leave behind. She rallied her friends together and they paid for the initial medical treatment. Everything logical could be dealt with later.
Make sure you factor emotion into your decisions because it only makes you more human.
My mother has never been the most business-oriented woman and she’s often pushed hard based purely on her feelings. But what she’s taught me over the years as I’ve watched her unwaveringly help her friends, family and colleagues without a care of how that may impact her reputation, her career progression or even herself financially, is how we cannot extract all feelings from a situation. Emotion can often be the reason why we make bad and irrational decisions so while we can’t rely solely on it or let it overpower an intelligent decision, but at the same time it shouldn’t be completely shut out. Make sure you factor emotion into your decisions because it only makes you more human. In life and in business, the large majority of actions and decisions that you make will not be black and white. The other party involved could be a prospect, a client, a vendor or an agency – the person behind the end of that phone line, the email address or the Twitter handle is a human being like you and me. Make sure that while you keep your company’s best interests at heart, you inject a level emotion into that conversation to help you build a long term relationship.
At the end of the day, no matter how big that business transaction is, the other party is just as human as you. Remember that emotions are important.
Thanks for your advice, Mum – Happy Mother’s Day!
Photo Credit: Eric Berry/Flickr