Goodbyes are never easy and breaking up is hard to do no matter if it’s a personal relationship or a business relationship. Scratch that. If you are working in a good organization that caringly fosters culture and growth, chances are you are fortunate to share a personal relationship at some level with your colleagues. So the end result is that all relationships are personal, even the business ones.

It’s a Small World:

If there is truth with the saying that the world is small, the same can be said about the business community. Whatever your profession is;  in the business world of marketing, sales, logistics, or finance; or if it’s in the medical arena and you’re a pharmacist, nurse, family doctor, or a medical specialist; that professional community is small.
It is in the interest of all parties to act professionally when saying goodbye because chances are you will run into one another, or yes, may even need the assistance of one another in the future. For instance, when transitioning from one company to another, you might find yourself working with former colleagues or clients in a new setting. You just never know! Working alongside one another every day, for 1year, 5years, or 15years…it is inevitable to have a personal relationship. And sometimes, even if it’s the best working relationship, there needs to be a parting of ways.

The “Be-Kind”  Philosophy:

Relationships work both ways. So even when it comes time for a business relationship to end…keep your head high, and your heart kind. That has been my philosophy. In the years I’ve been in business I’ve had to say my fair share of  good-byes.

The Reasons for Calling it Quits:

I’ve had to say my fair share of saying goodbye to awesome clients as there was a “change of guards”, or a change in their direction. And of course, I have had to say my goodbyes to fabulous team members that I had built an amazing rapport with. The reasons for their leaving range from a personal change, or to wanting something different, or just needing a change, or quite frankly,  it just wasn’t working anymore.
I’ve always been accepting of the choices or the situation and have been professional about it. As a result of this, many of my former clients are my friends, and some clients have come back. Former team members still reach out to me to say hi, or for advice and it’s a beautiful thing. I acknowledge that there are some awful situations that merit being cut off at the pass forever and ever. However, doing it respectfully removes the drama and leaves the situation behind rather than it being part of history.

Time Brings Perspective:

In the interest of transparency, sometimes you need a break after the breakup. However if the breakup was done respectfully, then it’s only a matter of time before the ability to open the door and reach out becomes even remotely possible. When saying goodbye to a client or an employee or employer isn’t done professionally, you not only cut off any more history to be developed between you…but you amputate a part of your career as well. You can no longer reach out or draw in advice from people that can help you in your future endeavours. It’s really being short-sighted and self-sabotaging. It also really cuts into your networking opportunities.

Don’t Burn Bridges:

There is some truth to most sayings… and this one really resonates here. Not burning the bridge that links the 2 parties together is sound advice. When all is said and done, there are always 3 sides to a story… 3 perspectives to the same story…your side, the other side and the truth. By dealing with it professionally, you get the time you need to be able to look back at the situation with maybe a fresh perspective.
Navigating goodbyes in professional relationships is an art that requires kindness, respect, and foresight. Whether bidding farewell to clients, colleagues, or employers, the manner in which we part ways speaks volumes about our professionalism and character. By embracing the “be-kind” philosophy and understanding that relationships transcend transactions, we not only preserve bridges but also pave the way for potential future collaborations.

So, the next time you find yourself at the crossroads of a professional departure, remember to leave with grace, knowing that every goodbye is an opportunity for growth, reflection, and perhaps, a future hello…quicker than you realize.