You can’t please everyone all the time

If we want to achieve anything in this world, we have to get used to the idea that not everyone will like us
Simon Sinek (

This is very difficult advice for a business analyst to hear. We generally want everyone to like us. By nature, we are collaborative folks who need to engage a variety of different – and sometimes difficult personalities – to capture the needs of the project or other change initiative we are working on.

So how do we reconcile the fact that every once in a while, we may have to piss someone off to get our work done – and deliver value to our organizations?

Don’t treat it personally. Your actions are not about them or you. They are about trying to achieve something larger. And their responses, while they may feel personal, are about them – not you.

So thanks for the advice you say, but how do I manage my emotional response?
It isn’t something you just can just turn off. It will depend on the circumstances but here are a few of the tools I use to help me.

  1. Visualize the conversation. We are BAs, after all. Who better than us to develop scenarios on how a conversation may go? If you play it out enough times in your head, you can prepare yourself for whatever may occur.
  2. Play the role of the recipient. Think about why they may be upset, or irritated, or frustrated. Think about how your actions can be altered to mitigate those emotions. You still have to get the work done, but you may be able to soften the impact a bit.
  3. Stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish – and keep that front and centre of any of your conversations. If they believe what you believe, you will be able to remove some of the negativity.
  4. Stay strong. You are better than you think you are!

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