There Is a Silver Lining to Every Broken ‘Business Heart’?


There Is a Silver Lining to Every Broken ‘Business Heart’?

We’ve had our first broken teenage heart at home these last few months. It’s a rite of passage that cannot be denied.

Sitting back watching this is a rite of passage for parents as well. The tender hurt feelings and confusion are painful to watch unfold however in most cases it’s inevitable. As a parent, all you can hope for is the wisdom and maturity that moving through these emotions brings and that the next time around they will have more skills to navigate the formation and foundations of a relationship. And, equally, know without a doubt that even with this person in their lives they are fully capable and complete.

And so … This brings me to broken hearts in business.

As a Small Business owner in the healthcare industry (or any industry for that matter) when you bring a new person into your team there is a courtship process. Who are they, how will they fit in with your already established team, do you like them as much as they like you, will they care for your wonderful clients the way you would or even better? The interview process is designed to find out all of these things and so much more. Lots of questions about the past and future, aspirations, goals and vision for the role and of being part of your business. And then on your part what you are offering and how that can facilitate a win for you a win for them and a win for the end client/community.

Clearly, this is a more overt and structured process than finding a new relationship. It is more pointed, specific, direct and outcome-oriented but the goal is the same. You are looking for ‘the one’, and so are they. And finally, you smile at each other and think, ‘This is going to be great, all is right with the world.’

We recently had a member of our team break up with us. Ok, ok that might be carrying the analogy too far for dramatic purposes, but it really felt like that. We went through the same surprise, confusion, anger and frustration that our teenager went through and that is why I am drawing the parallel.

We thought we had done all the right things to protect our ‘business heart’; they passed their three-month trial period with flying colours and said, “They were in for at least two years but probably more”, and we with light and happy hearts, built their practice. Clients became attached to them. Other practitioners encouraged and supported them, making them part of our amazing team.

And you can still get your heart broken.

Of course, it is on a very different level, but the point is: when you invest in a person with your time, energy and experience, when they tell you all is well and they really, really, really want to work with you, and then they don’t, it’s awful. Even more awful is when they say “I thought you would be upset, but I didn’t realise you would be ‘this’ upset”, and they are oblivious to what it takes to ‘un’ have them in your ‘business heart’.

There is a time when more junior practitioners need to expand internally rather than externally. What I mean by that is to consider what it would take to actually grow within their relationship with you instead of being attracted to a bright shiny new opportunity that may or may not offer anything new. But maybe that’s just me, an old-fashioned business owner? From their perspective, ‘something better’ came along and they are gone. Simple as that.

However, for the ones left behind the fall out can be painful. Difficult for the team who have also invested time and energy welcoming a new person in, helping them to build and grow, offering mentoring when asked and generally creating a workspace that is both fun and interesting. Difficult for administrative staff who have put so much into helping them grow to then have to remove them from the system and essentially unmake them within your business. Difficult for clients who have come to trust them with their care who now feel unimportant and are potentially lost to the business because they have been let down.

In my child’s words, “It really sucks”. And I have to agree.

In the end (dramatic reframing implemented), we have realised this is the best thing that could possibly have happened. I encourage you to find your silver lining. It could be difficult at first when your feelings are still so tender. I am starting to observe optimistic signs of this in my child as he sees things with a bit more clarity and less emotion.

“She didn’t respect me as much as I respected her Mum so it would never have worked”.

And ain’t that the truth.

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