I arrived at the office one morning, only to find that someone parked in my reserved parking spot. I initially reacted with irritation and the typical “I’m getting them towed” resolution.
Then I thought to myself, how would I advise someone else to behave in this situation?
Taking myself out of the equation allowed me to look at the situation more objectively, and I realized how really potentially destructive my reactions can be. How much time and energy was I going to spend getting revenge for something so trivial? How much negativity was I going to spread among my team by talking about the punk that parked in my spot?
A couple years ago, I had parked in a spot I thought was mine. Unfortunately, my reserved sport was on another floor, and they put a boot on my car. It was a pain to deal with, and it took me two hours to get it removed. It was an awful way to end a long day of hard work.
As I looked at the car in my spot, I thought, did I want ruin someone’s day when they probably just made an honest mistake? Did I want to be the one preventing someone from getting home to eat dinner with their family, just for the satisfaction of “teaching them a lesson”?
As business leaders, we have to face challenging situations, and make difficult decisions. We can react emotionally, or we can think about our desired outcomes, and plan our behavior accordingly.
Dale Carnegie said, “Decide just how much anxiety a thing is worth and refuse to give it more.”
Employees don’t want to follow leaders that react emotionally. They want to follow leaders that behave in a way that is consistent with a long-term vision. To be a leader your employees are proud to follow, click here to access all of Dale Carnegie’s Stress Management Principles!