Don’t Burn Bridges
In a November article I wrote for Fortune, I covered one of the largest lessons I’ve learned. Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve been laid off, had toxic bosses, terminated employees, etc. Yet, I don’t see the value in carrying grudges or anger towards a professional situation or individual.
Regardless of the circumstance, executives have to try to keep relationships with peers, employees, customers and partners as positive as possible. I feel fortunate to say that many of my industry friends and clients today were former competitors or colleagues. That being said, not everyone lives by this same ideal. Those that burn bridges may find that it’s a self-defeating act. Our world is small and relationships are everything.
Here’s an excerpt from the article: “I choose to believe that people are inherently good. I run my company with the same mindset. I believe my employees, contractors, clients and partners have intentions as good as mine. But when you run a company there will inevitably come a time when you will need to let people go, end client relationships, and retire partnerships in the best interest of the business. These are all difficult situations to navigate, which is why how you handle the situation will help you determine whether or not you’ve burned a bridge.
Employees often have little information about company issues despite the fact that their livelihoods may depend on the outcomes. When something difficult is communicated to you, how you react to that information says a lot about the type of leader you are. Despite the fact that these situations throw you off balance, it is possible to maintain control. Absorb the information, ask questions, and process it at your own pace. Handle the situation with poise and keep calm — whether you agree or not with the resolution. Chances are, the person on the other side of the argument will respect and admire how you handle a difficult situation.
Here are a few things CEOs and business leaders can do to keep relationships intact during unsettling times…”
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