Shaa Wasmund: How to avoid burning bridges in business

As an entrepreneur, there's a chance you'll come across people who you don't always see eye to eye with. It's the nature of our business that you'll come up against people with views different to your own, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Having someone with an opposite point of view can give you perspective with your business. Someone who has a different view can often also offer your business new skills and personality traits you may not posess.

Problems only arise if you actually fall out over these differences.  Whether it's an employer, an employee or a client, it can be tempting to let your emotions take control. But by getting into an unprofessional argument with someone, you're in danger of damaging your own reputation.

So, here's a few things to avoid doing when a business relationship comes to an end.

  • Don't vent on social media networks. Some of your followers might sympathise, but others will lose respect for you.
  • Try to avoid discussing the situation with too many others. News spreads fast, so it's best to keep it between the two of you.
  • Remain civil. Petty digs will only make the situation worse. Fulfil your side of the bargain and you can leave with a good conscience.
  • If you're feeling frustrated over an email, take some time out to calm down before you reply. Sleep on it.
  • Bear in mind that you might need their help or a reference in the future, so don't burn your bridges. Accept your differences and 'leave' on good terms.
  • Remaining professional and discreet will portray you in the best light, and hopefully mean you can work together in the future.

How would you deal with the break up of a working relationship? Leave your comment below?

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