If you sprain your ankle, it throbs and hurts. That’s pain. If you go into stories of “why me, why now?” – that’s suffering. Pain is inevitable in business and life. Suffering is a choice.
As a leader, you can set the tone for how your organization deals with pain, and you can choose to not invest in suffering. This pandemic continues to present countless opportunities for these powerful and very challenging practices.
Amare leaders, those who lead with the energy of love, understand that while pain is inevitable they can and do choose to actively let go of suffering. Whatever you do meets a need and delivers a payoff – whether positive or negative, healthy or not. In that spirit, think openly about the following questions:
- What does your business gain from painful situations? From suffering?
- As a leader, what do you gain from pain? From suffering?
- Do you believe suffering is a choice? Because…?’
- Are you willing to let go of suffering? Because…?
These are not easy questions and your answers may reveal things you prefer not to see. But once you acknowledge what is, you have more energy to deal with it or make changes if you choose. Just don’t indulge in making up stories to explain, judge, or justify your answers; that would likely bring in suffering.
Four Amare Ways to Deal with Pain & Suffering in Business
1. Accept what is. When there’s pain, there’s pain. Laying people off, deals falling through, pandemics happening – all painful. Look pain in the face. The greater your acceptance and the less your resistance, the easier it is to work through the pain and get to the other side.
2. Find the love. Even in deep pain, you can find tiny moments of uplifting and connection. Notice them, feel them, and cherish them as a source of strength and perspective. This also opens the door for more positive moments to come in.
3. Speak the truth. Tell your people at the right time and with compassion what’s going on and what is painful. If you see a solution, share that too. If not, enlist their help in discovering what’s next.
4. This too shall pass. While it may feel like a trite axiom at times, you can hold this as an eternal truth that provides a degree of comfort in hard times. Just don’t use it as a way to avoid dealing with your or someone else’s pain.
As a leader, it’s your job to be an example for your organization and team to follow. How you handle pain and suffering will set the tone for the company and culture. The principles and practices of the Amare Way are designed to help you lead with love, including being real about painful situations, and rejecting suffering as best you can. It’s not easy, but it is sooo powerful, and helps you be you. Choose well.
Today’s Amare Wave Wednesday Quote
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
—Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning & holocaust survivor
Expanded from an article originally published as an “Amare Wave Wednesday” newsletter on MosheEngelberg.com.
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