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The Ghost in Your Business

Posted on August 28, 2015 under Career & Work, Leadership, Mindset

How to Deal with Disappearing Acts

There comes an awkward time in everyone's career when you're simply caught off guard by the low or no response of a colleague, client, partner, or prospect.

The intermittent or cease of communications may or may not be a total surprise – it's easier to look back and have crystal clear vision – but it makes it no less confusing or bothersome.

The unilateral end of communications sends a strong signal – “we are done relating for now or forever.”  It may be difficult to understand or accept but that is the reality.  The reason why really doesn't matter or ever satisfy the other party.

Your task is to now decide how you want to react; which is the only true power we have in regards to another person's behavior.

I have personally witnessed and experienced many a “ghosting” in business and life.  It's not fun, yet it happens.

Why does it happen?  It's because there was a communication breakdown and one party is no longer participating due to lack of skill or courage to do the right thing. Meaning, to have an uncomfortable conversation about the elephant in the room.

The deserted party feels a range of emotions that look like this:

ghost image small

The ghost also feels a mix of emotions such as guilt, relief, regret, happiness, or perhaps nothing at all.

There's a lot of “elephants” in business because we are humans in relation with others, so we can become challenged in how to best handle difficult situations.  Ghosting is one ineffective coping mechanism to try to manage a tough scenario.

More often than not, unlike personal situations where it can get swept under the rug in shame or private drama, business conflicts play out in a public way.

What are likely business issues where ghosting appears?

None of the options on this list are simple or straight-forward problems to solve.  However, they definitely become worse when one party steps away from the table.

What can you do when you are left playing the game alone?

1. Separate emotion from duty or right.  Sort out your feelings first before you act. Acknowledge the feelings and know that you can address them when you're ready.

2. Decide what kind of leader you want to be.  How to do you want to stand in this storm?  What beliefs and morals do you want to represent?

3. Draw your boundary lines.  Determine what you will or will not tolerate and make it known to others as necessary.

4. Commit to action.  Make good on your decision by following through. Your action might be to initiate a legal case, establish new contracts and policies, or perhaps to simply forgive and move on.

5. Stick with it.  You will be tested as the situation unfolds.  Be firm in your decision and kind to yourself as you emerge on the other side of the issue.

At the end of the day, the ghost in your business becomes a tough teacher.  He or she is a gift in no disguise that brings you new awareness about what you needed to learn and practice in order to grow.

What is your ghost trying to tell you?


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