Beginning a new relationship is typically exciting, fun and exhilarating. Whether it involves falling in love, making a new friend or finding a new customer, a budding relationship ignites anticipation of good things to come and dreams fulfilled.
However, while we may relish starting new relationships, sometimes we must also bring established affiliations to an end. Many relationships reach their own conclusions without much guidance. But some require us to actively participate in their closure.
When a relationship is coming to a close, emotions often run high, making it all too easy to say things we would not say normally. This can lead to hurt feelings and even ruined reputations. Certainly, when ending a business relationship, it is optimal for cooler heads to prevail.
Business alliances are usually mutually beneficial to both parties. And many run their natural course until one side or the other is no longer interested in maintaining the bond.
Occasionally, though, a relationship will end abruptly amid anger. While it may be instinctual to respond to an angry customer or partner in kind, doing so is almost never beneficial to your business. When emotions run high, it's important to depersonalize the situation. It is easier to respond rationally when you do not take another person's derogatory comments personally.
But what if you are the one who is angry and wants to end the relationship? Vehemently pointing out all of the flaws in the relationship may make you feel better, but will it accomplish what you want? Remember, everyone you deal with knows other people, and you may need them in the future.
Instead, remain as calm and objective as possible. Simply present the reasons why it may be better for both parties to move forward on separate paths. It may be that the person you are doing business with feels the same way you do.
By keeping your cool you may also be able to keep a door open for renewing the relationship in the future. Also, if you do not create ill will, chances are your reputation will stay intact. Keep in mind that your company's reputation and good will are a large part of its value.
However, not every ending is going to go smoothly. Accusations may fly, and some folks may blame you for negative things that have happened in the past. Instead of being reactionary, evaluate these statements. Is there an answer that will satisfy the other party, or is it time to cut your losses? Perhaps just deciding that the situation is too far gone to salvage may be for the best. Let the other party go on his or her way and wish the person well.
Remember, ending a relationship is not always about being right; it's about doing the right thing in the right way.
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