Small business ownership can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, long hours, financial stresses and personnel issues can often lead to owner fatigue. Tom Ewer, Founder of Leaving Work Behind, says, “Fatigue, one of the most commonly overlooked small business challenges, can leave you disorganized, forgetful and cranky, not paying as much attention to clients as you should, and making mistakes” (Ewer, 2017). Exhausted owners may experience conflict in their business relationships, with clients, partners, vendors and/or employees, and they may not have the energy or expertise to effectively deal with these conflicts.
When we are fatigued, we think less about others, thinking our time and effort would be better utilized elsewhere. Feeling worn-out, business owners may direct their focus on the bottom line and neglect the interpersonal aspects of their business. The irony of the situation is, that when we are worn down and feeling overburdened, this is when we most benefit from focusing our time and effort on our relationships.
One conflict resolution approach that can help alleviate owner fatigue is empowerment, specifically, a focus on empowering those around you. An empowered individual has access to information, a range of options to make decisions and a self-confidence to change the environment or situation. By empowering others, you encourage them to resolve issues independently, taking the burden off yourself. An empowered employee is not only useful to their employer, but they also report a greater sense of job satisfaction.
Empowerment does not just benefit employees. An empowered business owner will be able to better recognize when a relationship is out of balance, and they will have the resources and the confidence to improve relationships through self-respect and respect of others. Empowerment can lead to more positive and rewarding relationships, providing a business owner with more time and energy to focus on the beneficial aspects of the business. This ultimately ensures business success and a greater level of satisfaction.
For more information on how to engage and empower employees, or how to increase your own feeling of empowerment, explore our website (www.crlsmediation.com) or contact us directly.
Ewer, T. (2017, February 2). 6 of the Biggest Small Business Challenges (And How to Overcome Them) – Hiveage. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from https://www.hiveage.com/blog/challenges-facing-small-businesses/