Business is Personal (1 min read)

February 12, 2018

“It’s business…it’s not personal.”

This cliché has masqueraded as an acceptable opener to tough conversations for far too long.

When people are on the receiving end of this phrase, they may have a poker face on the outside, but their heart is racing on the inside.

They know things are going to get very personal.

Suggesting that business isn’t personal damages your credibility as a leader and convinces employees that you’re out of touch.

Business has always been personal.


Because people are involved.

Work is intimately connected to our identity and our livelihood.

When it’s time for the inevitable challenging conversation, don’t default to insincere platitudes. Reciting them to settle your nerves frays the nerves of your listener.

Consider starting with honest words:

“This will be a difficult conversation for both of us. Let’s start by sharing our unique perspectives and then discuss how we can work towards a resolution.”

Align your words and actions with truth…even when that truth is hard to share.


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