Take a Breath!

25 May 2021 Giles Keay

Breath Adobespark

Over the years I have sadly witnessed too many consultants both junior and experienced who far too quickly will make knee jerk reactions and push clients away because they don’t behave as you want them too.

Welcome to life!

Most people don’t do what they should or you think they should.  The reality is that there could be so much more going on for individuals that you may never know which can have an impact on their decision making process.

The result of your over zealous actions can be catastrophic resulting in the loss of the client, loss of current and future business and also creating negativity on your mental state which can then impact you in further work that you are doing that day and week.

Many of us take our work extremely seriously and we should if we want to be successful, however there is a difference between taking it seriously and passionate compared to taking it personally. It is so important to make sure that you keep everything in perspective and realise that it is highly unlikely that any decision or action that someone takes is directed to hurt or harm you.

Very often “taking a breath“ and truly thinking the situation through before throwing your weight in can be all it takes. 

I have seen many angry email exchanges which began from a frustrated employee and then escalated very, very quickly. The issue with email, and text for that matter, believe me I’ve seen this equally in personal situations and environments with the same result, is that once it’s written down and sent it is there in the universe forever… you can’t take it back no matter how much you might wish too.

Now, this is not new advice or ground breaking, in fact I have traced some early documentation on this advice, was Alexander Pope, back in 1711 who wrote the phrase “for only fools rush in where angels fear to tread", simple but it can truly make the difference between keeping a client and losing one…

Some ideas to help you navigate this really common occurrence;

  1. Take a breath!

  2. Imagine your message/email to be on a side of a bus that everyone sees… do you still want to send it?

  3. Ask someone else to read the correspondence and check the tone first

  4. Write it and wait an hour and then reread and rewrite if necessary or DELETE! Sometimes the act of writing it without sending can be enough to calm you down

  5. Wait an hour before making any phone calls until you’ve had a chance to think it through

I hope that this article provides some thought provoking around incidents and situations that you have experienced or have seen others deal with and makes you consider what your best course of action is.  Many times I have lost potential revenue due to poor or unexpected decisions made by others but by being calm and professional in how I dealt with it meant that I gained more back in the future.

Good luck, Keep Calm, and take a breath! ​