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Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

As humans, we are all liable to experience emotional peaks and troughs throughout our lives. This is an inescapable consequence of life–our emotional state is heavily influenced by those around us. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Proceedings of the Royal Society, every positive person that you include in your life increases your chances of being happy by 11%. In contrast, it only takes one sad friend or acquaintance to upset this balance and make you unhappy, so your choice of friends and confidants is critically important.

This principle can also be applied to your business, where the people that you employ and partner with have a huge impact on future success or failure. With this in mind, you need to beware of the following five personality types and their potential to destroy your business:

1. The Flat-track Bully

As a general rule, bullies are loud, aggressive and outwardly confident individuals who are have an ability to initially stand out from the crowd and earn recognition from their superiors. This is why they are such a danger to your business: they have a tendency to create a positive impression on employers while distressing their colleagues and having a negative impact on productivity. As these individuals progress at the expense of others and gain greater authority, your business will begin to deteriorate beneath your very nose.

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The biggest issue with bullies is that they are often unable to do their job particularly well, especially those who advance into management roles. Once afforded authority, bullies are likely to wield this in a discriminating manner and target weaker or more skilled colleagues in a bid to undermine their confidence. This will cause your business to lose top talent and experience reduced productivity levels, while it will also fall prey to an increase in stress-related illness in the workplace. To avoid this personality type, you must understand their behavior in detail while also ensuring that your employees have a clear definition of what constitutes bullying and how to report it.

2. The Resentful Former Colleague

Occasionally, you may be required to employ individuals that you do not like. While this may sound strange, there are times where you must sacrifice personal feelings in order to optimize top talent and drive your business forward. This is most likely to occur as your launch your start-up venture, since building a successful venture requires you to maximize every possible resource at your disposal. So if you have a former colleague with considerable skill in their field and the ability to help your business grow, you may need to approach them regardless of your personal relationship.

This is a balancing act, however, as a deep dislike for another human being can create mistrust and considerable tension over time. The effects of this can be diverse and extremely impactful, whether attempting to manage a difficult relationship distracts you from achieving your business goals, or the employee in question begins to resent your superior status and develops a sense of indifference to the future of the firm. Try to consider this balance before taking such an individual on, weighing the potential cost to the business against the value that the individual can bring. It may well be that you are simply too alike, in which case the issues can be resolved through learning and communication.

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3. The Ambitious Self-server

There are a number of reasons why stable businesses fail and become insolvent, with one of the most common being the poor retention of talented employees. It is with this in mind that you must beware of ambitious self-servers, as these characters are similar to bullies in that they will often strive to get ahead at the expense of others rather than through their own merit. While bullies use their aggression to force mistakes from their colleagues and report these to management, an ambitious self-server is far more likely to influence senior colleagues directly through charm and persuasion.

Given that this personality type are only interested in their own advancement as opposed to the progression of the business, this often leads to poor and misplaced decision making on your behalf. This can have a huge impact on the retention of talented employees, as some may be unfairly let go while others simply choose to leave the company and work for an employer that respects ability and application rather than charm. To avoid this, you need to take ownership of each individual business decision and make choices based on fixed criteria.

4. The Narcissist

Teamwork makes the dream work, right? After all, businesses thrive on the collaboration between diverse and skilled teams which combine multiple strengths in the pursuit of a single, professional goal. While most personality types can thrive when given a role in a team of people, one that struggles in this regard is the narcissist. These individuals are always more consumed with themselves than with their team-mates or the business as a whole, meaning that they often fail to take direct action when working with others.

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While narcissists will not necessarily employ underhand tactics to further themselves, they are almost always arrogant and lack empathy for the people around them. This makes it extremely unlikely that they would work late to cover an absence or take on additional work to help complete a project, unless, of course, this would result in some form of individual recognition or individual reward. If you do discover a narcissist within your ranks, strive to utilize their self-serving motivation by giving them individual roles in which they can shape their own destiny (such as a commission-based sales job). This will turn a threat into an asset and help to maximize the talent at your disposal.

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    5. The Negative Energy Sapper

    Let’s face facts: there are some people in life who possess a decidedly negative energy. Whether this is part of their innate personality or the result of experience, such negativity can become consuming when it is projected onto your decisions and business management. This is debilitating for any business, as it encourages decisions that are made out of fear and conservatism rather than sound commercial logic and the fundamental balance between risk and reward. Just as aggression and recklessness in business can lead to losses, so too negativity can cause firms to stagnate slowly over time.

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    The impact of negativity is also felt more substantially throughout the whole of the business, since it begins to alter the outlook of individual employees and creates incredibly low morale. This can ultimately lead to the loss of core human assets and talented employees, while also driving down productivity and making it difficult to effectively engage customers. While negative individuals are often unaware of their impact and are not necessarily at fault for the way in which they think, you should avoid hiring those with excessive amounts of negative energy if you wish to develop and expand your venture.

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

    How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

    Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

    • Intro to Visual Facilitation
      • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
    • Structure
      • Why, What, How to, What If
    • Do It Myself?
      • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
    • Specialize Offering?
      • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

    This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

    You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

    To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

    What Is a Mind Map?

    A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

    In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

    The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

      Image Credit: English Central

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      By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

      3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

      The three steps are:

      1. Set a central topic
      2. Add branches of related ideas
      3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

      Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

      Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

      Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

      Word it in a clear and concise manner.

        What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

          Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

          Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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            You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

            In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

            Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

            Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

            Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

              I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

              In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

              Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

              You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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              • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
              • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
              • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

              Branch by Branch

              Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

                Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                  A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                    Level by Level

                    In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                      Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                        Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                          Free-Flow

                          Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                            I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                            What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                            Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                            The Bottom Line

                            When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                            If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                            More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                            Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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