Oh yes, today I mustered all the energy I had to go through with the dismissal of my head chef. Lucky enough I had an appointment with my shrink right before. The funniest thing is that he told me not to do it and let someone else do it for me. Basically he said that people in my current state of mind are usually off work on sick leave for a couple of months. Yet, I am running my business day in and day out.
So what’s funny then… Well what he said actually gave me the little boost I needed to carry on and go through with it. It helped my self esteem a great deal and gave me the confidence I needed. Did he do that on purpose? Maybe but I believe he said that to reduce my expectations and give me and exit strategy without me having to feel guilty about it.
However, I understood one other thing in this. That is I have to be careful of not delaying a major breakdown. If people are usually off work and I still carry on I might just be putting myself even more at risk. What do you think?
All and all, I am far from being a superhero. This dismissal only made me loose a lot of sleep and gave me some pretty decent anxiety attacks. Yet to the eyes of my employees it cannot show, I am there leader. If the only knew…
I had basically two main mechanisms that helped me cope with the situation. Often when we are depressed we find ourselves out of balance whereby the negative pressure is heavier than the coping mechanisms we have to deal with it. We therefore have two choices, reduce pressure or increase the coping mechanisms.
In this case, reducing the pressure was done by training my mind to think in a specific way. You see, one of the thing that really gets to me when I have to dismiss somebody is that my mind wonders off about the fact that they will go through a personal struggle. I think about how are they going to find another job to pay for their family, house and all… This morning I had to shift this train of thoughts and started to think about the 24 others working for me. How were they going to avoid that same exact struggle if I would keep that employee who was literally undermining my business. I owed it to them to actually go forward with this dismissal.
Secondly, I had to increase my coping mechanisms. In order to do so I had first to accept and expose my vulnerability to someone. I tend to have a strong ego and for me to show that I am vulnerable is a big step. Some call it emotional intelligence, I call it a big step into the void. I couldn’t do that with any of my employees off course but I am blessed with one thing: my dad works with me! He was there for me as my coping mechanism. I exposed it all to him and he said that he would sit with me through the process and give me support. So I had a life raft next to me for the whole time.
Exposing your true vulnerabilities is very hard but I does bring help when you need it.