The phrase became popular in the early 70s when the Godfather movie franchise was launched. Whenever one mobster killed another, it was never “personal” since it was only “business.” Very bloody business.
Life and death are very personal issues in any setting.
Working is about living which is why we refer to it as “making a living.”
The point of commerce is not commerce. The point of commerce is to provide people a means to earn a living so that they can provide for themselves and their families.
Commerce, aka business, has always been a very personal endeavor.
People came first, then commerce developed. All commerce is a transaction by people, for people, of the people. And it’s all personal.
Losing view of this by attempting to make business “impersonal” merely dehumanizes the workplace. It’s a way to tamp down any sense of responsibility to employees as they’re shoved out the door during layoffs. Any executive that justifies layoffs by claiming it isn’t personal, that it’s just business, should be sent to sleep with the fishes.
In business as it is in any area of our lives, it’s always personal.
The goal of communication is to connect and engage with your audience. Every audience at the other end of communication is always made up of people. So, every communication is a personal transaction.
This is an essential truth to keep in mind when developing any organizational communication.
It’s never just business, and it’s always personal. Anything less is just thuggish.