Yep! You guessed it...that's what's on my mind today. Well needless to say I have definitely had my share of burned bridges. I'm not usually the one burning anything down, most likely because I'm optimistic about people, but nonetheless I do believe it's inevitable that those things do happen.
Part of me wants to say, "Smile and let it burn baby!" and I think that's okay when it's a personal relationship and you really are done. I'm all about cleaning out toxic people out of my life. I like to think I focus on those who love me so that I can love them right back 10X fold. It's that "tribe" thing again. So again, I'm okay with smiling, turning around and throwing a match at that sucker! But when it comes to work life, colleagues and relationships, well I don't think it's that easy. Especially if you have to work closely together. Today as I talked to a couple of friends, I shared about how when we are in a professional setting and in order to be as effective as possible it is a collaborative effort...then we have to make every attempt to make a relationship work. It's not as easy as throwing a match at it. Right?
What happens when a colleague does "stab" you in the back? What if a team member is not one of your maximizers (you remember that right? Maximizer=your cheerleader, your support, that friend that holds you accountable, you get the picture). Naturally you want to walk away. You feel like throwing that match, thinking "it's already been thrown". Of course, you'd like to walk right past them and pretend they're not even there...but can you? Is that productive?
Maybe, just maybe the same thing that the colleague did, assume whatever you did was intentional and reported it vs. coming to tell you, well maybe that's what you're doing if you choose not to address it.
What to do:
Stop by that colleague's office and have a fierce conversation with him or her. Let them know that your feelings were hurt (don't try to say they weren't because I know they were...nobody likes to feel like someone has "stabbed" them in the back). Now that person has two options. Option 1: Be defensive and react appalled. Option 2: Apologize. Either way I am certain that they are now on notice. You see those fierce type conversations can be impactful. They don't need to be ugly and non-productive, throwing blame and or insults. Fierce conversations just means they are conversations that are sometimes ackward, but are necessary.
Okay so what if you're the one who's burned that bridge and you're confronted? What do you do?
Here are my tips to you:
Admit you made a mistake.
Do it now, not later.
Pick your battles so don't become argumentive.
Stop gossiping. Learn from your mistakes.
I always say, any type of relationship must have those 3 ingredients: Communication, Trust and Loyalty.
I believe you can mend a burned bridge, it will take awhile but it is possible. Remember to be have a good friend you must first learn to be a good friend.
May all of the energy attract be the energy you share with the rest of the world!