Toxic business relationships are a drain on your energy, productivity, and overall well-being. It can also be detrimental to your business brand and reputation. We have all been there. Maybe you are there now. You have that ONE particular professional relationship. Whether it’s a problematic client, a difficult coworker, or a frustrating supplier, ending these relationships can be challenging but ultimately liberating. Here are some tips to help you break free from toxic business relationships with a smile on your face.
1. Be honest but tactful
When ending a business relationship, it’s important to be honest about your reasons for doing so, but also to be tactful and respectful. Try to avoid blaming the other person and instead focus on how the relationship is not working for you and your business. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and avoid making assumptions about the other person’s motives or behavior. You don’t need to apologize for your reasons, and neither should they. And neither should both of you needlessly continue to frustrate the other. Even with the best intentions and great beginnings, a smart business recognizes when the business arrangement is no longer a smart opportunity, and it adapts.
2. Offer an alternative
If possible, offer an alternative solution that could work better for both parties. Maybe you can refer the client to another business that can better meet their needs or suggest a different coworker collaborate with on a project. This can help soften the blow of the breakup and maintain a positive relationship with the other party. But remember that this referral should avoid intentionally or unintentionally sandbagging the entity you are referring this party to.
3. Don’t burn bridges
Even if you’re ending a toxic business relationship, it’s important to maintain a professional demeanor and avoid burning bridges. You never know when you might need to work with that person again or when they might be able to refer business to you. Always leave the door open for future opportunities, even if the current relationship isn’t working out. Time and perspective can heal. Toxicity can sometimes run its course allowing fresh perspectives to re-enter the relationship for future endeavors.
Ending a toxic business relationship can be a cause for celebration! Acknowledge the courage it took to make the decision to end the relationship and the positive impact it will have on your business and personal life.
In conclusion, ending toxic business relationships is never easy, but it’s important for your mental health and the success of your business. Remember to be honest but tactful, offer alternatives when possible, maintain a professional demeanor, and celebrate the breakup