“Oh, how fascinating!”

Remember the phrase “how fascinating”. Thanks to Benjamin and Rosamund Zander I use it a lot – and find it has helped me in some tricky situations.

It’s easy to get irritated by people who tell you what you “should” do with your business but clearly have no real understanding of your sector.

It’s even easier to get angry with people who start shouting at you and blaming you if things go wrong – even if it was their fault.

And it can drive you to tears (or drink!) when someone states categorically that something is XYZ when you know for sure it’s ABC.

In business you probably have to put up with all of these irritating scenarios, and many more, every day. So how to do stay calm and refrain from thumping someone when it all gets too much?

My secret weapon is “how fascinating”. Sometimes I say it out loud, other times I simply smile and utter the words internally. It reminds me that everyone is different and everyone is entitled to their opinion – whether I agree with it or not. It doesn’t mean I need to take it on board. I just need to stop it affecting me negatively.

And, to be honest, it IS fascinating to hear how different people think.

Whatever they think and whether you agree or not – you are learning something. Something about them and how you might be able to do business with them, or how they need to be managed within the team, or perhaps why they aren’t delivering on their promises. The information is often there – and it is fascinating.

 

About Hilary Briggs

A management consultant with over 15 years of industrial experience having held senior management positions at Rover Group, Whirlpool Corporation and The Laird Group plc. For the last 10 years, she’s worked with SME’s to improve their performance. Hilary is Managing Director of productivity specialists R2P Ltd.