I had an opportunity over the last few months to coach a number of my clients in their business deals. In a few instances, they had the facts straight but were as one of them put it “consumed by their emotions.” As we explored the business of selling their business or finalizing their deals, this became a topic worth exploring.
In the last few years, I have worked with thousands of individuals for Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial ventures. The topic of emotions in their business dealings have come up on many occasions. I was speaking to a group last week and we tackled this topic head on when one of the team members told me that they deal with this with one of their customers. I asked the person to in their words, tell me what the other side said. I pressed them to use the exact words. They told me and I was surprised how personal it got.
A technique I used in the past when this happens is to repeat the words back to the other party word for word. I recommended to this business owner to do just that. I teased him by saying one of my clients told me I am fat, loud and opinionated. I repeated that back to them and they said, well, ok you are not that fat. I am glad to hear that since I have lost 30 lbs since last year. By the way, that client was just teasing me. We have a great relationship. But it could have been different.
Sometimes this simple technique works well. Repeat back to them the words they used without emotion. Then just stop. Many times they realize those words were not a good choice and will relent. Sometimes though, they just get dug in. At that time, you need to park the issue or walk away to discuss another day. Or propose a different way forward.
When you feel like you are being consumed by an emotional trigger, this may be a tactic the other side does to throw you off. Don’t get derailed by this in your business dealings.
If you want to explore this more, please leave your thoughts on what works for you or set up an appointment with me to discuss.