Basic Human Emotions and Your Business
When a global slowdown, national tragedy or random disrupting event hits, people look for someone to blame. If there’s no one to blame, sometimes they look for someone to hate, even if it is ultimately self-destructive.

A flood hits a town, innocent people die and buildings are destroyed. The widows and bereaved families take it out on the insurance adjuster or government official who has come to help.

Or the economic downturn hits a town hard, and some residents attack, quite personally, the hard-working city council members who had nothing to do with the bad news and in fact represent one of the best ways to ultimately recover.

In each case, the person being hated is precisely the person who can do the most to help. And yet, sometimes, we can’t stop ourselves from assigning blame.

It takes significant emotional maturity to separate an event from the people in proximity to the event. Any marketer or organization that deals with the public needs to embrace the fact that just because you’re close to the place where a bad thing happened doesn’t mean it’s your fault.

When confronted with misplaced anger, the proper response is not to point out the misplaced part. It’s to acknowledge the anger part. One big reason that this occurs is that the angry person feels as that not enough attention or sympathy is being paid.

The long term solution for entrepreneurs who are affected by negative events is to make it socially unacceptable to vent like this. Acknowledge business and community anger but don’t engage it.

People don’t remember how you behave when everything is going great. But they will always remember how you behave when you’re under pressure, stressed out and at wits’ end.

Dealing with anger, as a business owner and as a citizen, is always difficult, and it should be handled in as professional and calm a manner as possible to make the path forward smoother.