Never Burn a Bridge

Why should you always maintain a good report

with a business even when you are parting ways?

It is human nature to get mad and then rant and rave about what is not going well at work. Many of us spend time gossiping and socializing with the main topic of what the problems are and who is responsible. Although it may be a way to vent, it is not the way to gain further business with a client. When a relationship is no longer working, always debrief your findings, give suggestions for solving the problems and walk away with a handshake. It is this professionalism that will gain you respect and possibly more business in the future. Remember that the business relationship must be preserved in order to move forward with other business. You do not need to add skeletons to your closet, as you never know when someone you want to do business with will know the client that you just concluded your relationship with.

Never burning a bridge is one of the most difficult things to do in business. In the past, I have burnt a few and it has always come back to haunt me. I have made it a point to say that things are not working out, let’s go our separate ways but remain friends. This may sound ridiculous but somewhere in the future, you will meet up with that person in a position that has a direct influence on whether you are the selected company or not. If you have burnt the bridge, you can be assured that the business will go elsewhere.

I know this from experience. I worked for a person in government where I had a contract to provide certain services; even though my work was exemplary, this “boss” kept changing what was wanted. As a result, I quit in frustration and let them know how I felt. It felt good at the time, but then a couple of years later, I was bidding on a big training project and to my horror, this very same person was making the final decision. I did not get the business even though we had the best offering.

I think the worst thing of all was the egg on my face when I had gone to all the work of presenting a proposal. I had my staff all ready to go. Going back to the company and explaining we lost the bid because of my past actions was not an easy task, but we all learned from it and believe me, I will go to any length to keep a relationship and forgo the work.

Source by Bette Daoust, Ph.D.