One of the truly hard disciplines of life that is very important in business is the practice of not having “attitude”. When we have been hurt in some way that we feel is unjust, we are inclined to interact with that person in the future with a degree of righteous indignation. While that may make us feel somewhat better in the short run, the long run effect is usually detrimental to our business dealings and to our mental health. If our detractor is a customer, supplier, or employee our attitude may sour our relationship so that we lose that valuable relationship. We are better off to let the hurt run off our backs and move on, preserving our relationship.
If you agree with me, and you may not, the question is how we let the hurt run off our backs without being offended. The most straight forward way is to practice not being offended in the first place. It has been said that no one can offend you; you have to choose to allow yourself to be offended. When someone is saying something that hurts you, you can see it as a challenge to discover where the person’s attitude is coming from and addressing it, rather than letting it offend you. I can vouch for the fact that this is not easy. However, as you get better and better at not being offended you will find life much smoother and business more profitable. If you are not very successful at not being offended in the first place, the next best way to handle a hurt is to keep quiet for awhile and let yourself simmer down. Think about the perpetrator’s motives and see if you can address them without anger and without being dishonest with either him or yourself. Sometimes, when the person is just being unreasonable, you may have to just emphasize how you would like to keep the business relationship and not address those issues that you know you do not agree about.
Your choices are to react with attitude and perhaps have a feeling of righteous justification, or you can take a more studied approach and perhaps keep a valuable business relationship; you choose.
Loren L McCann, CPA, MS (Tax)