This may sound a bit outrageous as a principle for business success, especially in these financially challenging and transformational times, but here goes …
Detachment is an important aspect to be mastered by those who are serious about their personal and professional growth.
What do I mean by that? In consulting our trusty dictionary we find there are three definitions for detachment: 1) The act or process of disconnecting or detaching. 2) Indifference to or remoteness from the concerns of others. And in that definition, they add as a further definition: for instance “aloofness.” Detachment also means 3) Absence of prejudice or bias.
Basically, in everyday life, detachment is considered as separation or severing. This particular perspective implies permanent separation from a person or from some thing. Yet, in the context of professional growth and prosperity, I feel it is the last definition in the paragraph above, “absence of prejudice or bias,” non-judgment, that applies. If we are on the path of business and personal prosperity to some level of enlightenment, we are always interested in what is going on around us. And, just to be clear, interest does not connote attachment.
There are codes that have been around for many years that really apply when understanding detachment and its importance in our professional development. I’ll bet you’ve heard this before:
Think No Evil
Hear No Evil
See No Evil
Speak No Evil
While we usually think of the monkeys (not the band, but the image of three monkeys with their ears, eyes, and mouth covered), these are all high-level aspects of detachment. Very few have learned the power that comes from actually existing at this level of mental and emotional control. The mastery of detachment leads to a greater understanding of the energy that is one’s consciousness. That’s a good thing, I think!
How it applies in real life is detaching from our emotions with regard to the outcome of our decisions. Tough, I know. Yet, according to Corporate Therapist™ Kelly Graves, first responder professionals like firefighters and surgeons must walk this tightrope. So do leaders and managers. Both surgeons and leaders are required to care for people first and foremost while at the same time making life-altering decisions that in the short term may be painful, but in the long run, must be made if life of the patient or organization is to survive and prosper.
Detaching from our emotions while decision-making doesn’t mean being devoid of empathy for ourselves and others. It means having surgeon-like level-headedness, clear goals and objectives, and pre-planned step by step thought processes that ultimately improves the life of the patient, us or our organization.
This is especially important during this time of intense volatility and uncertainty.
Of course, we do have to live with the outcome of our choices. Yet in exercising detachment, we can know that we have done the absolute best we could in the moment. Maybe that big deal fell through at the last minute. Maybe the patient died during surgery instead of living for a few more years. Do we want to torture ourselves with the blame of ‘what ifs and ‘if only’s’? Or do we want to learn what we can from each experience and do better the next time?
While many say they have mastered detachment, I think there really is much work that needs to be done in this area. Mastering detachment not only brings peace and serenity to our heart and soul but serves to help us see others with more compassion, to know they are doing the best they can in their given situations. The prosperity that comes from such compassionate detachment is priceless beyond measure. Plus it has the potential to boost our bottom line as well.