While strained personal relationships can be hard to handle, if you have a professional relationship that has been strained, whether it’s between you and a coworker and business partner or a customer and client, this can have severe impacts on both your professional and personal life, especially if you lose money as a result. So whether you’re a police officer who’s struggling with current civilian interactions, an executive who’s been wronged by a coworker, or a customer service representative speaking with a hostile customer, here are three things you can do to help repair that strained professional relationship.
Take Care With Apologies
Regardless of who feels like they’ve been wronged in any given situation, starting with an apology can be a great way to begin a conversation that rectifies your business relationship. However, you’ll want to be careful with how you go about expressing this apology.
According to John Eades, a contributor to Inc.com, you should be very careful that the apology you issue doesn’t shift the blame from yourself onto the person you’re apologizing to. Even if you feel like your actions were justified based on what that person did, pointing this out, even subtly, will only serve to make the situation worse. So while it can be hard to swallow your pride and say that you’re sorry in these types of circumstances, it can be very necessary and helpful for reconciliation.
Communicate Without Emotions
In your personal life, it can be very hard to repair a relationship without involving your emotions. But with a professional relationship, you may find it much easier to keep your emotions out of the conversation while you try to make things right.
As opposed to talking about your emotions or with your emotions leading the conversation, Chrissy Scivicque, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends that you try to focus on what’s going to make your work together easier to accomplish and what will be in the best interest of everyone involved.
Plan For Future Compromise
If you’re never going to have to interact with this person in the future, making a plan for how to deal with future issues won’t really be important. But if you will be seeing this person again, especially if it will be on a regular basis, Brianna Barker Caza, Mara Olekalns, and Timothy J. Vogus, contributors to Harvard Business Review, advise that you discuss how you’ll make compromises in the future. By taking this step here, you should be able to deftly handle any future issues that arise within your interactions together so that they don’t come to a head, like they did in this instance.
To help you deal with strained relationships and interactions you may have in your professional life, consider implementing the tips mentioned above.