If you are running a business, it is likely you will encounter toxic relationships, whether it be with a client, a supplier or even a partner.
Recognizing and removing these relationships is a vital part of growing your business.
Often, we don’t see them and they linger on, or we justify why we should keep the relationship. We tell ourselves it will work out because they are old friends or still making us money, or for the simple fact we are just too lazy to end them.
But toxic business relationships can not only drain your energy, but make your business doors close fast.
Many people ask how do you know if a relationship is truly toxic?
If you have to ask if it is toxic, it usually is. And asking your peers can get you diverse and unclear answers. What’s toxic to them might not be toxic to you.
Start asking yourself some simple questions to get clarity first.
In this relationship, are you usually uptight or flustered? Maybe you are calm or excited to interact with them. What words describe your feelings and emotions in this relationship?
How do you describe this person to others? Do you speak of them in a positive or negative way?
Do you look forward to connecting with them or are you trying to avoid them all together?
Most people feel they are not connecting with someone if they don’t agree with them. But before you write them off, ask yourself if they are toxic or just challenging.
Challenging relationships can be extremely motivational in business, while toxic relationships are just that: toxic. And they can kill your business.
Other parts of the relationship to explore include respect. Do they respect you? Do you respect them? If either answer is no, then the relationship is toxic. Respect is essential in business and it’s time to move on if it’s not there for both parties.
Remember, challenging people will often disagree with you, but will still respect you. They will give you their thoughts and opinions and leave it at that. That’s being respectful, not toxic.
Then there are excuses. Does the person constantly make excuses or under deliver on their promises? If so, this is also toxic. When someone does this, they are not looking out for the best interest of both parties and either don’t know what they can do or simply don’t want to commit. This is never good for your business.
As soon as you get clarity about your relationship being toxic, then it’s time to remove it.
Of course, if you have a contract or incomplete responsibilities with them, then you may wait the allotted time to do so. However, you need to set a date with yourself now for when it will end. Put it in your calendar and make that commitment to your business and your mind, body and soul.
A few things to remember when removing the business relationship: It must be done with grace, dignity and respect. You don’t have to explain in detail why or get emotional. This is business. Clean and simple.
If you do have to say something, just say the relationship is dissolved and you wish them the best, or you can simply say you will no longer need their services. If it is a client, you can provide a referral and say you are unable to offer them services at this time.
These are just a few things when removing a toxic relationship that can show respect and be done gracefully.
If you’re going to remove this toxic relationship, you can also remove yourself from their social media resources, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, so you don’t have reminders and can move on.
Soon you will find toxic relationships the thing of the past and the doors will open to better clients, suppliers and partners.
Now it’s your turn. Share your toxic relationship stories below.
What toxic relationships do you need to remove right now?
Have you removed a toxic relationship in the past? How did you handle it and what would you change if you could?