When Saying "Goodbye" is Good for Business
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When Saying “Goodbye” is Good for Business

saying goodbye in business

When Saying “Goodbye” is Good for Business

saying goodbye in businessCan you think of times in your life when you’ve said goodbye? A real definitive bye to someone you care about? When a friend posed this question to me recently, I really had to think about it.

It turns out. I haven’t always been the best with closure.  My previous goodbyes usually happened because the other person was getting ready to leave this world. Usually, something big and “final” like death was involved in my really big goodbyes.

It wasn’t because I wanted to, it was the goodbye that we had to face at different moments in our lives. “What about smaller goodbyes?” she asked me.

Hmmmmm. As I thought about it, even broken relationships from the past were more of a “see ya later.”

As a relatively young business owner now running my third business, I realize saying goodbye is really important at all stages of business growth. It’s about closure. Think about your past and current professional and work experiences.

How did you end your last work situation? Was it heated? Hostile even? Did you part decisively and depart on good terms?

Did you get peace of mind from cutting the cord?  Was it a mixed bag of emotions? Going beyond parting ways, do you keep in contact with previous colleagues?

There are times in business just as life when it’s time to move on. Business thrives on decisiveness every day. Closure is a part of moving on. It’s part of business interaction, yet the closure of saying goodbye is not often talked about.

Think about these scenarios:

  • You’ve served the client you are working with as much as is mutually beneficial for the time being.  You no longer want or need to work with them. As the server in the relationship do you wrestle with ending the relationship in case there is opportunity for more work?
  • If you think about it like this, ending the relationship now doesn’t mean you can’t touch base in the future? If more work is meant to happen then.
  • You’ve done what you’ve set out to do with your boss and you want to move into a position in another department.
  • You are the boss and your team has worked really well together and had huge success but it’s time to scale the work and achieve an entirely new level of success with additional team members. Adding new team members doesn’t close the door to the current team or to more successes, however you will need to say goodbye to the team as it is now.

These steps may help.

  • Think about what closure is for you. What do you need from the process?
  • Communicate in a way that works for both parties.
  • At a loss for words? Draw a picture. Ok. You don’t want to hand someone a picture if it’s not the right thing. However, when you are closing a relationship and you can’t find the words, draw a picture of what comes to mind. You don’t have to hand the picture over. It can be just for yourself. Picture and art creates the emotion of what you want to say and can sometimes be just the catalyst for finding the right words.
  • Celebrate them now and create closure on all that is now in order to generate excitement for what is to come in the next phase of the teams’ work together.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway to saying goodbye is that it doesn’t always mean you are closing the window forever. It means you are closing the window for now to create opportunities new windows to open later. Good business thinking means you can say “goodbye” and “see you later.”

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