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In following up with my previous post dealing with my personal leadership mistakes, I want to move right into another big one for me.

I am not sure if everyone has this problem or if it is just one of my many flaws, but I have a tendency of taking things very personal. It is strange because when it comes to making a decision, I try every way I can in avoiding making it personal.

Leaders must understand that when it comes to decisions, they will not always go our way. As with any decision, there are many circumstances that come into play before the final word is spoken. We should avoid thinking that the world is against us when that final word is not in our favor.

As the leader of the team, we must avoid getting defensive and possessive due to one action. We must try to stay away from the destructive actions of justification and self-loathing.

I hate to say this because I don’t want to believe it, however, this all boils down to a poor self-image. We start believing that something we have done, or because of who we are; the decision was against us. This is a deeper problem that will end up causing undue stress and anxiety. It is when we as leaders take those decisions too close to the heart; it will slowly destroy our creativity, our thinking, and our decision-making capabilities.

A couple of ways that I have found to address the problem include:

Try to avoid making assumptions about any criticism that might be coming your direction. See if you can follow up with the person and get more of the details. It is better to hear and understand than to make assumptions about why the decision was made in the first place.

The next thing is to try and see the situation from the other person’s point of view. If you can honestly try and put yourself in their shoes, it might help you understand why the decision was made.

Over the past months, I have had to spend a lot of time thinking about this topic. I realized that I was taking things personally and making assumptions that were totally wrong. I found that when I dealt with the situation head on and asked questions, I found that my assumptions were completely false.

This week’s experiment: Are you taking things personal? Is this causing you anxiety and stress? What are you willing to do about it?