Less McKeown is CEO of Predictable Success and his recent book is “The Synergist:  How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success“.  He is a regular contributor to INC magazine and his latest article is about the 3 sentences a leader should never say and the third is in my view the most important:  “Don’t take it personally” or the variation “It’s business, not personal”

Everything is personal because we are persons.  It is personal when a person is fired, laid off or their position is eliminated.  It is always personal because a person bears the results of the decision. 

As a boss, supervisor or owner, just imagine how you might feel at the end of a week if you told your employees “you have one week to tell me anything as long as it prefaced with “Don’t that this personally…” 

Over time, I’ve worked with many bosses that have felt the sting of an employee saying just that.  I, too have been on the receiving end of several “It’s not personal, it’s business”.  The same with employees, they are persons with feelings, families, lives outside of work.  How all these come together is called LIFE.  Life is the whole enchilada, great employees and great bosses know each other beyond the labor they do.

You don’t have to be friends with your staff but if you want great work, don’t take this personally, but you will find being personable will get you further down the road to success.  All business is personal if you are working with people.