Do you bend over backwards for your clients, peers, or employees?
Do you put up with obnoxious or incompetent or behavior?
If so, is it because you’re afraid you might be called the “b” word? (Bitch for women, bastard for the guys.)
You’re not alone. Over the years, I’ve listened to thousand of heart-centered entrepreneurs and professionals who’ve become business doormats because they don’t want anyone to think they are “mean”.
In case you were wondering: yes, I’ve been one of those people myself.
I’ve put up with some things that I would never dream of pulling on another service provider: no shows, rudeness, bad checks, slacking employees with a ton of excuses, etc.
I wanted to be nice. Fair. Give people a second, third, and in some cases, a fourth chance. And what did that get me? More of the same.
When you are a soulful business owner, you depend on having a bustling client base, and good relationships with your peers and team. You don’t want to risk alienating anyone or getting a bad reputation.
Which means you often will tolerate ill treatment far longer than you should.
While diplomacy and tact are always good practices, accepting the unacceptable is not. In time, you end up with three new problems: being taken advantage of, anxiety, and resentment.
Although you don’t want to be seen as a “bitch”, you deserve to be respected. And you won’t get respect by being a chump.
The first thing you need to do is get over the fact that you most likely will be called a few words here and there. When someone doesn’t like you, your policies, or the way you run your show, they may be angry. And it’s very likely that they may talk smack. As much as that hurts, they are entitled to their opinion. You don’t have to accept their behavior but you do need to accept that.
Second, look over your policies. Do you have clear rules for your clients and employees? If not, it’s time to create some! Clearly stated policies will protect you and teach people how you wish to be treated.
Third, you need to enforce those policies. It’s easy to slack on them, especially if someone tries to lay on the guilt. You’re going to have to toughen up. A simple “I’m sorry but that is my policy.” is all you need. If they persist, repeat it one more time and then end the conversation.
Fourth, don’t be afraid to say no or to fire someone. You have every right to fire a lazy employee or an abusive client. Period. Be kind but firm. Be clear about why the relationship is being terminated and then send them on their way. Never keep people in your business world that make your working world toxic. Clear out that clutter.
Finally know this: you will lose business when you hold your ground. That’s okay. You’re going to piss a few people off and they will go and find someone else to do business with. It is their prerogative, and, in the long run, this is better for them and for you. If you’re not a good fit, both sides will be miserable.
Don’t let your fear of being seen as a bitch turn you into a business wimp. Even though it’s scary to stand up for your self and your business, you must. A climate of trust and respect is vital. Without that, your business will be more hurtful and less heartful.
“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
On a light note, check out this tongue-in-cheek video that I think you might get a kick out of:
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015