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PP 075: Build Bridges, Don’t Burn Them
Every relationship provides the opportunity to build it – and end it – with integrity or heated drama. Listen in as I discuss why it’s important to build bridges rather than burn them.
Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. Before I jump into the topic of today’s episode I want to make a point of letting you all know that I strongly believe that all relationships should be built authentically and also with good intentions. You should never go into a relationship wondering what you can get out of it but instead be thinking about how you can help the other person and how the relationship will be built on strong moral standing. When I was growing up I remember my dad and stepmother teaching me to never burn bridges. They taught me that whenever a relationship was ending or whenever I was leaving a job to leave on the best foot possible. For any of you who have seen Jerry Maguire there’s the classic scene when he’s leaving the office and he’s flailing his arms around and he says he’s “Not going to make a scene” and that is precisely the type of activity that you do not want to do when you are leaving a job. Now I understand that there might be relationships that end poorly and in a heated nature. However whenever possible try to leave civilly. When I look through my Facebook connections and my contacts and my telephone I have people who I am still in touch with going back all the way to elementary school. As I’ve been growing my business I have even gotten referrals from a high school classmate who quite honestly I don’t think I even spoke two words during high school. I’m connected to children I babysat for during high school. I’m connected to my boss at the church rectory that I worked at also while in high school. And two of my strongest relationships from my past actually come from a boss and coworker when I was interning during college. These guys are two people who I know that I can call any time and we can pick back up where we left off. Even if it spends six months of craziness since we spoke last. If I had left that internship on bad terms I know that that wouldn’t be a possibility. But to this day if I ever see myself going to Chicago for a visit I know that there’s always someplace that I can stay. Even when I lost my job back in 2008, and that was partially the recession and to be truthful partially poor job performance due to illness. When I ran into my boss from that position at the grocery a few months ago. We actually had a good talk. Sure, I was upset because I was losing my job. But I kept my cool as good as I could and I left the office without making a scene. I make every attempt to keep all of my social media platforms as drama-free as possible.
And if you scroll through my Facebook feed you will never see me ranting or raving about anything that may be happening in my personal life. My husband and I, and our family, have a policy. It’s “Drama free is the way to be”. We keep that policy in our house and we make every effort to keep our social media platforms and profiles the same way.
I have had people ask me why I haven’t commented on recent current events including the election in the woman’s march. And my answer has always been. I know my opinion. I’m not out there to create a debate. I’m secure in my opinion and my decisions and I’d personally just rather keep them to myself. As I am growing my business, I know there are definitely times to share my opinion and also times to keep my mouth shut. And by keeping my mouth shut, it’s a lot easier to build bridges than to burn them. With that said there are definitely times that I know my opinion needs to be stated. I’ll give honest feedback to clients. I’ll express when I don’t believe that something is working how it should be and I let clients know what my expectations are and what I expect as far as payment.
There have been plenty of times when I’ve bit my tongue and there have been e-mails that I’ve written and then let sit as drafts overnight to make sure I really wanted to say the words that I was currently feeling.
Sitting on those emails has most often resulted in and a deleted or heavily revised email and I’m so glad it did. In the heat of the moment it can be so easy to say things that we don’t mean but if we let it rest, even if only an hour or two, many times we can cool down enough to keep our composure and even save face. I want you all to remember that just because somebody appears to be the most beautiful or they claim to have the most money or are the most luxurious does not mean that they are the most beautiful people inside. When building relationships with other it is always better to see what type of person they are on the inside rather than only looking at the outward appearances. Books cannot be judged by their covers and neither can people. Whenever you’re starting a new relationship make sure you’re going at it for the right reasons. And remember when a relationship is ending it’s your choice whether you burn the bridge or leave civilly. With this thought in mind go forth and have a positive and productive day.