When our personal needs make us less effective as business people

I am in the midst of a project that has taken many twists and turns; some of them stressful, all of them interesting.  When navigating these twists and turns, I have found the following principles help to keep me on a steady keel, so I thought I would share them:

‒   Manage yourself.  The ability to manage yourself effectively is key to closing a piece of work successfully.  Whether you are going for a promotion, applying for the job of your dreams, or in the middle of selling your house; understanding how you react, respond to, and impact other people is vitally important.  When I first start working with new clients or colleagues, I let them know that my “thinking face” is a furrowed brow.  For years, I intimidated people whilst thinking!!  Who knew?

‒   Being “dead right” is just plain stupid.  I have coined the term “dead right” to describe scenarios where an individual’s need to be declared “right” is fuelled by ego, and is ultimately destructive.  Picture yourself receiving a long awaited promotion, but feel the need to bring to the attention of your boss that really, she should have promoted you a year ago.  Even if you are right, you look immature and petty.  Not good.

‒   Keep perspective.  When you really want something, it can consume you, requiring tremendous amounts of energy and making you less productive.  As much as you can, try to maintain some perspective by keeping your options open through networking and doing good work, and for goodness sake, don’t stop exercising!

‒   My mother in law is right.  My mother in law believes in two key principles; working hard and fate.  In her view, we all have a duty to ourselves and our communities to do the best that we possibly can, and to take advantage of opportunities that come our way.  But, when things don’t work out, they are simply not meant to be, and someone mightier than us has made it that way for a reason.

Now, go forth and hold on tight!


Suzanne Boyd lives and works in Vancouver and spends her days advising clients on how to work with people in a manner that drives their businesses forward. She works with very smart, quantitative and analytical guys who keep her on her toes, and prevent her from speculating without data. For fun, while not working (which is mostly fun!), Suzanne spends time on the slopes and enjoying Vancouver’s restaurant scene.

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2 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed your perspective, Suzanne! I think I need to repeat that second point to myself a little more often. It seems like a good mantra to put on a sticky note on the side of my computer screen. Thanks!

    It’s funny because I have a blog post coming out next week that flushes out your first point about managing yourself with respect to emotional intelligence. Look out for it!

  2. […] 13. 8 career guidelines for Consultants 14. When our personal needs make us less effective as business people  15. Candidate rights in the Recruiting and Hiring […]

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