One of the things that I frequently deal with is the overpersonalization of issues. I know that I’m not alone in this. It’s very easy when things go awry to look at each issue as a ‘me’ thing such as ‘why did this happen to me’ or ‘what did I do to make this happen’. Another manifestation of this is the proverbial luck or karma thought – ‘are the moons in some weird pattern’ or ‘who did I wrong that cursed me’.
I have been learning that this overpersonalization is a real challenge that can lead to bad reactions and has to be dealt with. Things Happen. Good things happen and bad things happen. The trick is in how you deal with them, how fast you address them, and making sure that the reaction to the event is proportionate to the impact/need. Separating the ‘me’ from the response (the world DOESN’T revolve around you) is important to helping make good decisions.
This doesn’t take away from the fact that issues CAN have a personal impact. Some things are very personal and painful such as a family member getting sick, a valued employee quits, etc. and some are not personal at all such as a new competitor coming into the market, a customer issue, your favorite sports team losing a game.
Recognizing the personal reaction and separating it from the responding action is important to making sure that rational decisions are being made. It’s a really difficult thing to do and to learn but it’s critical in a leader. I hope that I’m making strides in this area.