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Business Insight: Build good relationships, end bad ones

Workplace » Healthy boundaries keep frustration and confusion low.

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Be honest » But speak to them respectfully. The need to be honest does not give you the right to trample on anyone’s feelings, so choose your words wisely.

Be clear » About where you are on your life’s journey and what you need from a relationship. Tell them why you need to make a change and use phrases such as, "Here’s what I really need…"

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Don’t assign blame » It’s not about them; it’s about positioning yourself to achieve your goals.

Share the lessons you learned » And say thank you. Be specific in showing your appreciation.

Be open » To reconcile in the future, if it’s healthy and appropriate. The old saying, never burn your bridges may apply here. So avoid doing or saying anything that would prohibit you from redefining or restoring the relationship later.

Others » When you’ve been close to someone for a long time, whether it’s personal or professional, other people know it. When that relationship comes to an end, they will notice that, too. When others inquire, say as little as possible as positively as possible. For example, you could say: "Yeah, we don’t spend as much time together anymore, but I think he’s a great guy," or "Well, we needed to go in different directions, but I sure did learn a lot from her."

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