In short, you overreacted and possibly did some real damage with an ill-advised decision.
The next time you find yourself tempted to react quickly, consider the following.
- Make sure you get all the facts. Reacting on emotion instead of basing decisions on facts can cost you your credibility with your staff. Unless you want to be their main topic of conversation, take a deep breath and step back.
- Give your people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes we see others making decisions that may not be the ones we would make, but doing things differently leads to innovation and helps your staff take ownership of projects.
- Be even-tempered. It is your responsibility as the leader of the business to set the tone for others around you. Be the voice of reason. If you react on emotion, you set the tone for others to do the same.
Leading a business can be like being on an emotional roller coaster. No matter how much you try, eventually you will find yourself over-reacting to a situation, usually out of haste. But in the long run, haste costs you twice as much time because you often have to start over.
When you realize you’ve overreacted, the best thing to do is back up and do what you should have done in the first place: Calm down, then start gathering all the facts. Carefully listen to the opinions of your staff members and reassess your decision.
If your original decision was wrong, admit that and make it right. Even if your original decision proves to be right, take the time to explain your reasoning to your staff and assure them that their opinions are always wanted.
Doing so will help your credibility and set a solid example for everyone.
FRED KOURY is president and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc. Reach him with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 988-4726.