People you work with can make you feel like you’re getting paid to have fun… or they can be the source of distress and worry.
For an entrepreneur, leadership skills don’t always come naturally, but they can certainly be learned.
Great teams are often comprised of people with complementary, yet very different personalities. You may have a dynamic, outgoing sales person; an introverted software developer; a logical, persistent accountant; and a warm, fuzzy HR person. I’m generalizing, of course, but diversity is at the core of every awesome human group.
Troubled teams are also comprised of a range of personalities, yet instead of their differences being a cause to celebrate, they are cause for blame, suspicion, insecurity, and a hopeless work environment.
Sometimes, let’s face it, as a small business owner you can get pretty frustrated by the personalities and attitudes of other people, both within your company and outside — vendors, customers, partners, etc.
Can you work with everyone?
Why are some relationships so positive and others just “weird?” I’ve seen many differences in dynamics between people at work, both in my own business, corporate situations I’ve encountered, and small business owners I’ve coached.
Outright arguing, unproductive drama, backstabbing, or problems communicating boundaries are a few extreme examples of strife with other people. Other problems can be a lot more subtle and common, hiding just below the surface, yet still just as uncomfortable and damaging to your business culture.
Difficulty in interpersonal relationships causes stress, may cost you business, and certainly makes day to day work life unenjoyable. Conflict between you, the business owner, and your employees or colleagues, diminishes your ability to lead your company. However, healthy dynamics between members of your team can connect and mobilize your efforts toward a successful business.
What’s the secret to a no-drama workplace? Can you even “do” business without any emotions? Nope. You can’t. That wouldn’t be any fun, anyway. The best business leaders learn how to lead through them.
While there’s no way to avoid dealing with all difficult people and situations at work, you can take advantage of a business coach to give you confidence and ideas when you’re not sure how to handle problems with a coworker.
Get some perspective.
You may be too close to a situation to see it clearly. It’s likely you are taking things too personally — or not personally enough. I’ve seen that a lot among business owners… they just want to get stuff done, and “don’t have time for” personality or behavior conflicts.
Yet perception is everything. If someone thinks they have a problem where you see none; trust me, there’s a problem brewing. You may be waiting for the situation to work itself out, but if someone reporting to you thinks you don’t care, that makes things even worse.
Here’s where a coach can help. When people problems arise, a businessperson may need someone to whom she can safely vent frustrations and get feedback. An outside source may be able to script a solution and practice a conversation that resolves an ongoing conflict. Or a solution may be lurking within a system; for example, learning to hold better meetings, or changing a communication tree or workflow.
In any case, acknowledging that happy people make great employees and colleagues is the start of any good conflict resolution.
We talk a lot about growing a small business by examining habits around financials, productivity, time management, systems, and outsourcing. All of those small business issues are hurdles that stop owners from achieving their goals.
But for a lot of small business people, their biggest struggle is due to conflicts with other people.
A business coach helps people see opportunities to grow and lead instead.
The continuing series about how to know when it’s time to hire a business coach will conclude next week. Meanwhile, if you’re ready for some virtual business coaching, I’ve put together something just for you… In the Six Figure Business Club we tackle your business basics and help you grow toward that first milestone of six figures! Join me!