It is amazing how easily we can see how other business people can improve their businesses. Looking in from outside next steps appear obvious. With the little knowledge we have of their situation we can easily become critical of their poor decisions and tentative actions that lead to business mistakes. We wonder out loud, “What were they thinking?”

Everyone has 20/20 hindsight. However in the midst of the challenges and busyness of everyday life it is easy to overlook important things. We become absorbed in unproductive activity. At the time such activity seems very important. Only with perspective and hindsight can we see clearly.

Jo-Hari Window

The Johari window is a technique used to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others, which was created by psychologists Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916–1995) in 1955. [Source Wikipedia]

The diagram at the top of this blog helps us understand that we all have blind areas in our life. Blind areas are those embarrassing things that others see about us that we do not. We all have them. We also have hidden areas of ours lives that we choose not to disclose to others. Then there are those confusing parts of our lives that are unknown areas to us and others. Those people who work on themselves and their relationships, often with a business mentor/coach will increase the area of open activity. This will almost always lead to greater success.

Dale Carnegie in his famous book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People‘ stated that business success is 85% based on your relationship skills and 15% on your technical skills. Daniel Goleman in his books on Emotional Intelligence has helped us understand the importance of self-awareness and relationship awareness to business success. This is why I believe that small business ownership is a personal growth journey.

The greatest business mistakes are usually people-related

Poor decisions due to insecurity, unhelpful assumptions, and over-reacting to people cause great havoc in many businesses. Poor leadership is rife. So many people I know have left good jobs because they could no longer work with their boss or manager. It makes me so frustrated when I see unnecessary tensions and grief in a workplace simply because leaders have not bothered to learn basic people skills. The sad fact is that business coaches mostly work with good companies who want to be better. The poor leaders who churn and burn through people rarely seek assistance. They rarely realise they are the cause of their companies poor performance. Most are totally blind to their business mistakes.

Likely Business Mistakes Based on Your Behavioural Style

My dad was a minister in a church as I grew up. He was brilliant at caring for people one on one. However, he struggled with his confidence to lead the whole congregation. He was a gentle man who did not like to argue his position. Any opposition stressed him out. Fierce opposition paralysed him. In my early twenties when I was developing as a leader I often wondered why he struggled so much. To me, looking on with no responsibility, the way forward usually appeared quite simple and the decisions obvious. Not for my dad. He worried about what people would say, and how they would respond. He thought through the implications of each decision from many angles through his own eyes, and then through the eyes of those affected. It tied him up in knots and was not a happy part of his life.

Using Extended DISC behavioural analysis each of the styles has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • For the D (Dominant) Style while they are strong at seeing the big picture, driving results, being decisive and taking charge, they struggle with setting the steps of a strategic plan, and understanding the importance of building and working cooperatively with a team.
  • For the I (Influencer) Style while they are strong at connecting with people, setting a great atmosphere, inspiring a team and making life exciting, they struggle with details, timelines, budgets and making sure plans are established and completed without mistakes.
  • For the S (Submissive) Style while they are strong at processes with people and tasks, listening and talking, working as part of a team and ensuring tasks are completed as planned, they struggle with disruption, when things do not go as planned, when leaders change their mind, and when they cannot work at their own pace.
  • For the C (Compliance) Style while they are good at researching information, processing facts, ensuring tasks are completed with excellence and mistakes are minimised, they are often slow, negative, struggle with the big picture and with being team players.

My point is that every behavioural style has strengths and weaknesses. If we think we can go it alone without assistance we are guaranteed to make business mistakes. Every business person will become overwhelmed at times.

How a Business Mentor helps

Most successful business people know they need help to maximise their performance on a consistent basis. The smart ones seek advice and make sure they have mentors in their world. A business mentor is someone who has experience. They draw from their wisdom about business and leading people to bring wisdom and perspective to their clients. They should also have the ability to listen and assist a business owner to think clearly. They support the vision of their client and help them set plans to achieve the next steps that will bring that vision to fulfillment. They ask great questions. They see what is needed now. They speak truth which is both encouraging and uncomfortable.

I would go so far as to suggest that a good business mentor will also have their own business mentor. If they believe in what they do, then they need their own mentor. I know I am invested in a mentoring and training program that keeps me abreast of the incredible changes going on in the business world. I have a mentor who challenges me to think and be better.

In most industries now, professionals have supervision of some kind that enables them to reflect on and improve their performance. It is vital in an era of unrelenting change that business owners are at the top of their game. A business mentor will be help you keep your cutting edge sharp. They will also help you minimise the depth and severity of your business mistakes.


If you would like to sharpen your business edge please call me on 0405 539025 or complete this consult request form so we can have a no obligation conversation about your unique situation.


INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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