We Are All Under Pressure

With so much going on all the time, it is hard to determine what decisions are important and what decisions are just the flavor of the day. There are certain foundational elements of your business that must be established to create order, alignment and discipline. Part of this is setting the behavior guardrails within which you and your team must operate.

You must establish a set of ideals and perspectives that are non-negotiable for everyone. There are certain behaviors that have a lasting effect beyond the moment they occur.

“We WILL get through this together.” 

Dismissing How Your Team Feels

Everyone understands that entrepreneurial ventures don’t succeed, or exist, without hard work and dedication. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the needs and feelings of those struggling alongside you. If you dismiss your employees’ state of mind when you communicate or make decisions, you undermine your company’s strength, resilience and dedication to the business and its customers. You must respect the dedication it takes to do everything from the simplest daily task to the most complex business transaction. To do that, you have to be committed to knowing intimately how they feel and to demonstrating that knowledge through thoughtful action and encouragement.

If you are thinking, “I don’t have time to worry about how people feel,” your employees are thinking, “Does our leader really understand the sacrifice we are making?” That question is usually followed by, “I wonder if the sacrifice is worth it?” The effort and perspective of every single person matters. The organization cannot serve customers and its mission and make forward progress if its individual gears aren’t well oiled and given proper attention.

Yelling, Talking Over People and Cutting People Off

I’d be lying if I said I nailed this one. Many times in meetings I felt that we were wasting time and that I was already past the issue. This caused me to cut people off and say “Got it.” It got so common that it became an office joke. Don’t do it. Raising your voice is the same. I know what you are saying, “But we just lost our biggest client.” Your people want to see you calm, cool and collected, especially when things are going wrong. Do your best to keep good manners even in the midst of chaos. That’s where it really counts anyway.

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