Oh, it's personal all right!
I've come to hate the phrase "It's not personal, it's business." Now, more than ever before, I see how intensely personal business really is. From hiring and firing, to growth and development, every part of the business world impacts a number of people--personally. I would argue that those who can easily disassociate business from the people involved, have lost touch with what matters most.
This isn't to say that tough choices don't need to be made. Of course they do! Whether the need arises to cut a position, reduce a salary, go with a different distributer or re-tool a process, each action impacts many lives. The decision must be made for the betterment of the company, but to pretend it isn't personal adds insult to injury.
The problem with getting personal, is that it's messy. People get hurt and angry. We are quick to make assumptions and misunderstand one another. We can't help but react. Pride, jealousy, passion, confusion: these roller coaster emotions send us racing around the track of life, oscillating between nausea and elation. Who wants to deal with that?
Nevertheless, I would challenge you to reconsider your stance on personal vs. business dealings. No matter if you are getting or giving service, what if you were to take the time to interact with the person sitting across from you (physically or digitally) in a more personal way? Really consider treating that individual with dignity and respect, hearing what they have to say, rather than planning your next statement.
I have failed at the practice of seeing the person behind the business more times than I care to admit. There is no question that it takes exponentially more time and effort. But, if we are serious about improving our community, we don't just need an investment of capital, we need an investment of people. You see, a bottom line may measure financial health, but if the people caught in our business wake feel as though they are at the bottom of the line, we've lost more than we've gained.
Let's put on our safety harnesses, because inevitably, we're going to get a little banged up as we get up close and personal. Once we've made it through the ride we can high five each other for what we just survived. Amazingly, you'll look back and see there are others eagerly waiting in line to experience those very same twists and turns--and most of them have paid good money to do so.