Which Of These 3 Business Management Mistakes Are YOU Making?

by Linda Feinholz · 0 comments

© 2009 Linda Feinholz.

In the same way that kids will gravitate to their favorite games at recess – the average business owner cannot resist making the same mistakes over and over again.

I was reminded of that habit we all share as I sat across the desk from one of my clients this past week. I’ll call him Fred. He’s the owner of a multi-million dollar business who cam eto me to get coached on how to get different results from his management team.

I have to admit that I love the clients I draw – they’re forward focused and action oriented.

Quite often, in fact many times, just like at this meeting, they’re also fed up. AND as we all know, when we’re frustrated we don’t have much patience. For the third or fourth time, Fred was telling me how he wanted me to turn his folks into more effective managers… but that he didn’t intend to change anything HE is doing.

When we’re in that state we very often are making 3 critical mistakes.

Mistake Number 1 – “Wishing” It All Could Be Reality

Fred, you and I all got messages from others in our life that we ought to ‘wish’ for what we want. From the time when an adult held a lit candle on top of a cake in front of us and said “Blow!” we each were taught that wishing is a path to achieving.

In fact wishing and a dime used to get you a cup of coffe… but not even a sip these days!

The heart of this mistake is believing on a sub-conscious level that if we wish hard enough, often enough, loud enough, then some mysterious unknown source will make it be so. I’ve found most ‘wishers’ are in an emotional state, and their attention is on an emotional mental image of what they want ‘different’ to look like.

Well, whether you ‘wish’ each morning, or before walking into a meeting with people who can’t stay on topic for a discussion, or while looking at your bottom line results on a report. Wishes are merely the spark of the begining of the notion of the ‘different’ result you want.

Mistake Number 2 – “Hoping” For A Different Result

Hoping has a different feel to it than wishing.

When I ask people where in their body they feel sensation when they are wishing and when they are hoping, they point to distinctly different locations. When I’ve probed the differences in the mental and emotional states at the route of these mistakes, they report that hoping feels more physcial, visceral, tied to our muscles, as if we’re a child looking longingly down the road and waiting.

Physical instead of mental. Yet also sitting and stewing in an emotional state, rather than taking ownership of the situation.

Mistake Number 3 – “Praying” For 3rd Party Rescue

I’m very fond of uncovering this mistake in my clients and program participants. It’s been massaged so many ways over the past 20 years – from praying to a diety to make things work out the way we want, to ‘making requests’ of our Higher Self, to a childlike reciting of affirmations over and over again.

The common thread in each of these mistakes is people are living in a sense of the entire situation being ‘outside’ of them.

So here is my client sitting across from me… years of pent up frustration rippling through his skin. He’s sick and tired of acting like a referee. Yet as an entrepreneur he both wants his judgement and opinions to guide the actions and decisions of his team. AND he also wants them to decide for themselves that they ought to change their behavior… even in the face of his conduct remaining constant.

You can see how he’s locating all the changes that are needed ‘outside’ of himself.

Oh, by the way – you may be making the same wishing, hoping and praying mistakes!

Fred tells his people at full voice that he cannot understand why they “don’t get it.” That hasn’t worked for him this far, no matter how loudly or frequently he tells his team they aren’t living up to his expectations.

We’ll be working on creating a believable shift in Fred’s behavior so that he can shift from his childlike habits to adulthood.

From that space, he can invite the others on his team to try new ones themselves. We’ll be starting by creating a shared vision of the incremental changes for each of them to make, AND we’ll be naming the specific changes in behavior that will create more effective managing by each of them, and teaming among them.

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