Following a post I did in a discussion group in Linked In, I got sent an email citing my profile statement (see the header of this page) and asking “Does peace of mind, the absence of mental stress or anxiety have a place in a competitive business?”
I decided to answer this publicly as I believe that my answer may help more than this one individual to understand where I’m coming from with my “Business IS Personal” philosophy. By the way, I reckon this person probably has a similar viewpoint judging from their profile…
I believe that they most definitely do have a place in competitive business. People talk about good stress and bad stress – what I am talking about here is the absence of bad stress. I would view good stress as excitement, as enjoying a challenge while feeling and believing yourself capable of achieving it. Whereas bad stress will cause strain on the body and mind and over time can have a long-lasting negative impact.
Peace is also about a lack of conflict. Some productive conflict can be very good for business, for instance in a team meeting where people are openly sharing and discussing ideas, everybody gets heard, agreement is reached and commitment made to the way forward.
With peace of mind I’m referring to an absence of inner conflict. Imagine feeling calm and sure of what you are doing, that you are working to your strengths, heading in the right direction. Wouldn’t that be a more productive place than constantly being pulled in different directions? For many people they want to head in one direction yet part of them is saying no due to blocks such as some kind of fear (e.g. of success, failure, conflict, disapproval), anxiety or lack of self-belief. This often results in either non-action or some kind of sabotaging behaviour… Not exactly conducive to high performance!
Even when people are coming from a place of proving themselves that often reflects their true insecurities, which sooner or later will show up in their actions and/or in how people react to them because of the vibes they give off. Nobody likes the smell of desperation… People who truly believe in themselves don’t need to prove anything to anybody or justify their actions. They just get on with it.
Of course when in the process of making a decision individuals and teams need to weigh up options and for a short period of time may have inner conflict. Can you see how this is different to what I am describing above?
The source of the word compete is actually to serve better. I believe it is healthy for an organization to compete to serve its customers better. However when it gets personal and individuals are competing and comparing themselves with others, then who are they actually paying attention to – themselves or the customer?
Perhaps the best approach is peaceful competition…