I received a nasty phone call from a client that wasn’t too happy about the progress my team was making on a project we were doing. There was yelling, screaming, name-calling, and blaming, followed by a barrage of insults and unsolicited advice on how my company should operate.
Years ago, I would have fired right back and laid it on this client even harder than what was done to me. I’ve been chewed up and spit out before, so I know where this could have led. I’ve fired this client on the spot in similar spats and not thought twice about it – poof, be gone from my life.
But I’m different now.
I’ve learned the art of diffusing a situation and winning the client’s heart right back to me so we can course-correct and finish the project out with grace.
Handling Terrible People
We’ve all experienced terrible tirades from callous clients. Whether it was our fault or theirs, when expectations aren’t met, or some outside factors come into play, people stop being kind, and the relationship is threatened.
At this point, we have a choice of mirroring the client’s feelings and engaging in the negativity or taking the higher road and diffusing the situation to come to a peaceable resolution.
We know God would want us to take the higher road, but easier said than done.
How can we change our ways when we’ve always been used to arguing back, flaring our temper, and defending ourselves to the point of destroying client relationships?
The answer is in the most famous preaching ever given on the planet. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount lays out the eight beatitudes, which are qualities of the people that enjoy special favor from God.
The third beatitude is
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 NIV)
Many people think meek means weak. Yes, they rhyme, but that are opposites. Meekness means power under control. Jesus even described himself as “meek and lowly,” but Jesus was the most influential and powerful man to walk the earth.
Upping Your Level of Meekness
If you’re looking to achieve greatness in your business, learning meekness will be critical for your success.
When you are a meek entrepreneur, you have come to serve, not to be served. Therefore, you hold back asserting yourself for your benefit, but instead, display self-control that benefits everyone involved.
The next time a client or situation makes your blood boil, and you feel the anger or frustration rising in you, remember the meekness captured by Psalm 37:1-11, which starts our with, “Do not fret because of the wicked,” and concludes with “the meek shall inherit the land.”
In business, you have relationships with partners, employees, vendors, contractors, shareholders, clients, prospects, and competitors. At every point in our day, someone can threaten our ‘good mood,’ and from one second to the next, we could turn the world on fire.
However, Jesus is guiding you to do as He did and curb your urge to use power to avenge the wrongs done against you or to build your image and instead use whatever power you have to serve and build others up.
What Gentleness Looks Like in Business
For me, it has saved many business relationships, and even made them stronger! What could have ended up with a burned bridge built our relationship and landed me an even bigger contract and more referrals from the client I described at the beginning.
See, because I kept my composure through all the insults, the client ended up telling me that he had a very long day, frustrated with so many other things in other areas of his business, that I was the one he took out his anger on. He apologized for his words and thanked me for keeping my cool. He commended me for keeping my composure and told me ‘that Christianity stuff is working for you.’
That’s what it’s all about! We Godpreneurs are God’s witness here on earth of what a relationship Christ can do for our personal development. Meekness is evangelism in business.
The Challenge of Looking “Weak”
Sure, it can be extremely challenging to give up our power to God’s agenda, especially in business. In a cut-throat environment where financial profit is god, it seems to be the self-promoting aggressive entrepreneurs who get ahead more often than not.
However, anyone who looks out only for their interest loses out in the end. People who are thirsty for power are often lonely people, lacking in meaningful relationships. These people may have accumulated materialistic things and achieved monetary success; they will eventually find out that the world controls them.
On the other hand, Jesus promises that the meek Godpreneur “will inherit the earth.” Jesus came to bring Heaven to earth, and when we display meekness, we’re doing our part to create this new heaven and a new earth in our respective marketplaces.
Imagine if we all submitted our business power to God. Imagine heaven all around you – in every meeting, every relationship, every transaction. When we become meek, Godpreneurs, we receive God’s grace and all the good things we desire that otherwise might elude us.
How are you going to use meekness today?
I pray you’ll submit your power to God and let Him lead you to exercise control as Jesus did – for the sake of others.