On Emotions in Business
“Don’t mix business with pleasure” is a prevalent phrase we hear a lot in movies. Still, in my own experience, it is “don’t mix business with emotions.” Often it is not as easy as it sounds; the lines become blurry, and being objective is difficult.
Not so long ago, I found myself in such a position where I needed to cast emotions aside to make an important decision. I shared my ordeal with my homegirl, Bimpe Shode, who has now been on the show three times! It was quite an intense conversation, but trust Bimpe to make me laugh from time to time, easing off the tension.
At this point, Bimpe needs no further introductions, but I’ll tell you a little about our relationship. Bimpe is the type of friend you want to have in your corner — level-headed, stays on course, emotionally mature, and the one you can first expose yourself to, thereby saving yourself from public embarrassment and rebuke. We share several things in common, including our faith, which forms the foundation of our core values.
Earlier in the year, I wanted to scale up the podcast and thus needed a Virtual Assistant (VA). I went about the process and finally hired someone based on my emotions when I found out that the candidate was a listener of my show. But shortly into the work relationship, I wanted out! While she excelled in some areas, most of the tasks were not properly executed, requiring me to not only make corrections but to redo them myself. I was bound by contract; hence I couldn’t back out immediately. I organized training sessions, but they yielded little positive results. The relationship was becoming toxic from my end, the VA was unhappy, and I was angry a lot. Finally, I had to call it quits. I remember tossing and turning at the thought of ending the relationship.
Even though it wasn’t an entirely pleasant relationship, I had learned a lot from it that by the next time I went about hiring someone else, I was more critical and objective in my vetting process.
Examining the facts clearly, Bimpe stated something significant that is often overlooked. She said, “know when to call a relationship off.” According to her, this is something that can be applied to not just work relationships, but to all forms of relationships in general. There is no reason to remain in a toxic relationship when you can speak up and be assertive about your needs.
Boundaries have to be defined in work relationships. You may not entirely know what you want, but you must be certain about the things you don’t want. Never compromise your company’s goals and standards for the sake of emotions. Business is a business!
So in whatever relationship you are in, if it isn’t working, please know when to let go.
We ended the conversation by examining our relationship as friends and pointed out the virtues we love about the other person. She caught me off guard by saying, “everyone needs a Mo!” But everyone needs a Bimpe too!
Download the episode to find out more about our conversation.