As a business coach, I have heard every question, concern, and problem a business owner could face. So, I have started writing a series of articles that incorporate my experiences with my clients, who I have rolled into a fictional character named Bubba. I have dubbed these the “Bubba Tales.”
It seems that Bubba had a problem. The fellow he’d hired to help him out just wasn’t up to snuff. He told us about everything that was going on and we all agreed that it sounded like he’d got a bum steer this time. But, in my mind at least, the bum employee wasn’t Bubba’s biggest problem…
“I just don’t know what I’m gonna do,” Bubba complained. “This fellow is a real hot-head. If I go in there and tell him he’s fired, he’s liable to blow up. He’s about 6’ 6”, so he’s got a couple of inches on me, and he played football too, so we’re both fair piece north of 200 pounds. Can you imagine what my customers would think to see the two of us going at it hammer and tongs? And that isn’t the worst of it. He and my part-time guy who’s not only doing a pretty good job, but would be my only help left, are real tight and I’m afraid if I fire the one, the other is going to up and quit as well. If I lose them both, I’m way up the creek without a paddle…”
Sometimes Bubba, like most of us, can really build a gloomy jail for ourselves.
“Bubba,” I asked him, “how many times has this guy blown up in the three months he’s been working for you?”
“Never,” Bubba answered, “but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t expect him to this time.”
“Bubba, are you planning on letting him know you’re letting him go by yelling at him?”
“Naw, of course not. You know me better than that.”
“And are you planning on cussing him out or hitting him or doing something else that would rile him up?”
“No, I really hate to have to let him go. I’m trying to make it as civil as I can.”
“So, Bubba, if you aren’t planning to rile him up and you are trying to be civil, how likely is that expectation true – that he’s going to blow up when you tell him…”
Bubba kind of mumbled a little, but allowed the blow up anticipation was pretty far-fetched.
“Bubba, given how the job situation is right now, how likely is it that your part-timer is going to want to walk away from a perfectly good job?”
More mumbling, but Bubba acknowledged that it was pretty unlikely as well.
“Bubba, don’t feel bad, most of us are pretty good at building gloomy mental jails for our thinking of false expectations. In fact, that is why we talk about FEAR being an acronym.
Now I’ll agree that sometimes, an expectation we have is true, or at least partially true, and the experience we have will be negative, but most of the time, most of our negative expectations are not true. They are just another FEAR, a False Expectation Appearing Real.
Think of the gloomy jails you’ve built for yourself out of FEARs. What wins are those prisons holding you back from? What dreams are they blocking you from reaching? If you let go of your FEARs, or even just some of them, what wonders would you be able to achieve?
Bubba let go of his FEARs, let the guy go, and not only did it go very civilly, but the guy told Bubba, “You know, boss, I really have been expecting this. This just wasn’t a good fit for me, but I appreciate you giving me a chance.”
Not too bad, considering what Bubba was expecting…