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Your first reaction when you are angry or disap-pointed in a company or a person is to respond with crit..." />

Don't Burn Your Bridges

Date: 05/01/2012

Your first reaction when you are angry or disap-pointed in a company or a person is to respond with criticism or abuse. But think twice before you berate a supplier. Think about the consequences when you malign your boss if you are leaving a company for another job. Think again of what the cost may be when you yell at an unreasonable requisitioner or customer.

You may need to return to a supplier that you leave for another. Why leave with bad feelings if you gain nothing by doing so and have much to lose? Not only will the supplier be reluctant to give you the best offer or the best service when you return, meanwhile he may bad mouth you to other business people. That is the kind of publicity you don’t want.

And never leave a company either voluntarily or otherwise with an unpleasant departure. Keep in mind that you may need a reference from that company. While you may not get the best reference even if you leave with grace, you could get much worse when you have irritated the boss. Remember, employers will likely check your behavior with former employers. Even though you may warn a potential employer about an unsatisfactory termination, the good or bad extent of the answers they receive can be minimized or maximized by your departing behavior.

Keep your cool, when you are dealing with an unreasonable requisitioner or other type of customer. Later the customer may regret his behavior if you have maintained courtesy in spite of his erratic behavior. In fact, it is not unusual that a customer will come back and apologize for his bad behavior, especially when you have fulfilled your promise to correct any problem.

On the other hand, if you have exhibited impatience or anger, the requisitioner or customer may report your behavior, probably with exaggeration, to every person who will listen. An outside customer may decide to report the problem and your organization’s response to the news media, to business associations, and to government agencies. If he is particularly upset and believes he was treated unfairly, he may decide to take legal action which, whether you win or lose, could be costly.