“As a leader, you are always going to get a combination of two things: What you create and what you allow.” – Dr. Henry Cloud
One of my pals is dealing with an abusive client. It didn’t begin that way. But over the course of a year, there have been verbal attacks, degrading emails and even outbursts at my client’s team.
After a recent rampage, my friend is panicked. She’s wondering how she could attract anyone so horrible into her business and what she can do to transform this energy and create a more positive environment.
Now, I’m a big fan of clear communication, correcting mistakes, and apologizing in situations when you’ve messed up. If something has gone wrong, own it. That’s the first place to start.
Beyond that, your job is to recognize that, as the leader of your business, your confidence and energy are high-value resources. As such, they must be protected at all costs.
Here are three starting points to help you move as quickly as possible to create a renewed sense of confidence and energy if you are dealing with an abusive client or team member:
1 – You’re a leader, not a superhero
It’s oh-so tempting to think that because you’re a “conscious” business owner, or because you are purpose-driven and heart-centered that you now have to slog through every negative situation in your life in order to figure out how you “attracted it” or how you might “heal from it.”
This is Superhero Thinking.
We’re certain that we could transform any situation if we could only use our powers of thought in the perfect and right ways. We’re sure that we can get to the bottom of this other person’s issues if we can only find the best communication tools.
This is rarely the case. Often, it just makes us stay with the wrong clients or employees just to prove that we are able to leap tall negativity in a single bound.
It will benefit you, your children, your spouse, your dog, your friends and the entire planet if you get over this as quickly as possible.
Many years ago, I spent a full year talking with business coaches and reading management books trying to change myself so that I could “transform” an abusive employee. At first, she was a star in my office. But as time wore on, she lashed out when she didn’t like the decisions I was making about my career. It was painful. And I tried hard to make it work because, after all, I knew about all of these great spiritual principles.
Finally, I did the wisest and most compassionate thing I could do.
I fired her.
We may think we have super powers and that if we could just get healthy enough then we can transform a negative situation — but sometimes the best answer is to take off the cape and mask and simply end the situation.
2 – Lack mentality will always keep you stuck.
Often, the real issue is not about what we’ve attracted.
The real issue is why we won’t let it go. The real issue is that we’re scared. We think we need this client, this employee, this partner, this job, this gig.
We think these external things are the source. The source of our money. The source of our joy. The source of our productivity. So, we become attached to them.
That’s when things get wonky.
We convince ourselves it’s about changing our thoughts and working with the negativity we’ve attracted. But really, it’s about addressing our lack mindset and our misguided attachment to something outside of us.
Every single time I’ve let go of something negative that I was holding onto out of fear… my work was transformed by my bold choice to believe that better things were on the way.
They always are.
3 – Letting go is a decision. Make decisions quickly and move on.
When I started water-skiing, I’d make it up on the skis, barely get my balance and then instantly lurch forward. Body-slam. Face-first onto the lake.
Then, in spite of all the water-skiing wisdom anyone had ever offered, I’d hold onto the handle for dear life as the boat dragged me several hundred feet across the lake on my stomach.
Now, the problem was not that I attracted bad experiences as I learned to water ski.
The problem wasn’t that the boat was mean to me, or that the lake was evil, forcing me to swallow much of its contents.
The problem was that I wouldn’t let go of the handle.
It’s the same thing in your business.
Sometimes you have to stop asking how you could possibly attract this and recognize that you’re the one holding onto it.
Share with me please… Have you ever had an abusive client? Or have you ever made a bad hire? How did you let go???