I knew, when I first owned my practice, that in order to be successful, I would need to learn what I didn’t know.
I knew nothing of financial reports or employment law.
I knew nothing of business management or marketing strategies.
The list was long. Remaining ignorant would have lead me to failure. So I researched, read and taught myself the skills that would instead lead me to success.
There was one aspect of business ownership that I struggled with more than cash-flow and business plans: managing people.
Managing people can be tough. With their diverse personalities, sensitivities, pet peeves and levels of engagement, backing away slowly often seemed like a good option.
Shifting my mindset and embracing what I needed to learn about people management, rather than shy away from it, was the major, positive difference for me.
I studied and improved my communication style and my negotiation skills and embraced my responsibility to create the right environment for others to be successful. The results in my team and my relationships with each individual improved instantly. I no longer avoided difficult conversations. Events of the day ceased keeping me awake at night. I stopped feeling misunderstood, alone and harassed.
I assure you though, that it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I made plenty of mistakes. But I had to embrace the mistakes too, learn from them and be better next time. As Charles Kovess, JPPS co-founder and Australasia’s Passion Provocateur states in his seminars, there is not one single skill that we learn WITHOUT making mistakes.
So the mistakes that I make, and you make, are vital if we wish to get better.
Becoming a skilled manager of people gave me power and it gave me freedom.
It gave me the power to create a working environment where each team member felt supported, empowered and happy. This can only be achieved with effective leadership, clarity and honesty.
It gave me the freedom to truly enjoy my relationships with everybody I worked with. Something happens when you see the wonderful gifts each person brings to you, rather than focusing on the negative aspects of that person.
I felt proud of what I achieved during my 10 years of practice ownership. When I sold in 2013 I was satisfied that my team and I had built a stronger business than what we started with. But as the years pass, and I achieve different goals in work and career, the depth of pride dilutes and spreads over a series of events.
The feeling that does linger with as much power as before is the pride and joy I have in the relationships I fostered.
Had I not embraced the challenge of people management, I would have missed a marvelous opportunity. The opportunity to grow, to empower others and to leave a positive impression on the many employees that passed through my practice.