Business relationships are complex and multi-dimensional. Not only do they impact the individuals directly involved, but they affect everyone around them and sometimes the bottom line. Instead of resorting to losing strategies that can harm your work relationships, let’s focus on what you can do that is positive and leads toward repairing damaged relationships.
Oftentimes when a professional relationship has been damaged, trust between individuals needs to be repaired. While not always easy, it is possible if you consider the following:
• Acknowledge what took place to impact one of the important pillars of the relationship: respect, dignity and compassion. In many cases, the ability for all affected parties to get in the same room and express their position on the situation will be helpful. People want to know that they are heard and that their situation is respected.
• Actively listen to each person and be empathetic to their viewpoint. If necessary, involve a mediator so that no one individual takes control and the chance for outbursts of anger are reduced.
• Take responsibility for your actions. Look at how you contributed to the conflict. Whether you like it or not, you likely contributed to the conflict.
• Explore how the situation might be reframed into something positive. This may take time, but it could be possible that both parties learn more about how to effectively communicate and perhaps understand each other in ways they didn’t before. This can strengthen their professional relationship as they move forward.
• Move on. There is nothing to be gained by either party if you dwell in the past. Chalk it up to experience, learn from the situation, and make a conscious effort to do better moving forward.
People are often not equipped with relationship building skills or with the ability to recognize how they contribute to a misunderstanding. Personal reflection, coaching and conflict resolution training can contribute to a better understanding of yourself and, by extension, a better understanding of others. One of the most effective strategies you can employ is to maintain respect and dignity in your relationships.
We often assume that relationships are permanent and fixed and that they aren’t likely to change. Although we all have natural tendencies that will continue to emerge, it is how we handle them that can make a difference. By understanding the dynamics of the relationship and committing to change what isn’t working, we can achieve positive results.
If you are looking for solutions to repair damaged business relationships, contact Forge Coaching and Consulting at (905) 873-9393.