Burning Bridges

Negotiations are tough, especially when careers or money are at stake. They're even tougher when "principles" and emotions get thrown in the mix. Your first reaction might be to play hardball, to burn bridges in the name of what's right, and what's wrong.

But negotiations aren't a criminal proceeding. You aren't the victim, and this isn't a final judgement of your worth. If the terms don't meet your goals, you can either continue negotiating or you can walk away.

Don't get mad at the other side for wanting certain things or not agreeing to others. That's what a negotiation is: two parties trying to agree on terms that feel equitable on both sides. Getting mad at the other side for negotiating is like getting mad at a kid for wanting candy.

And remember, if you'll have an ongoing relationship with the other side after the negotiation is over, a scorched earth policy probably isn't the best way to start that relationship.

Burning bridges won't get you what you want. It only limits your options. Make sure you really don't want that option anymore before you pour the gasoline.


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Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I’ve been writing here since 2009. Join my email list for new articles about supporting yourself doing something you love: