If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 20 years, it’s that the world is a small place. The advent of a thing that is aptly called the “World Wide Web” should be our first clue to the fact that we are all connected to numerous others throughout the world simply by virtue of our presence on (or “in”, if you’re stuck like me) the web.
As we respond to the inevitable connectedness that we are all subject to, even and especially here on LinkedIn, we have no choice, as professionals, but to introspectively evaluate the way we conduct our selves in our increasingly small global village. As I look at myself, I know that I have faults, opinions, and quirks, that will eventually rub someone the wrong way or at the very least contrast with the view of another human being. I call this conflict, Life. But I’ve found that those business people who are the most successful, and respected, are those who are the most respectful in conflict.
The ability to encounter a negative situation, smile, rise above the fray, and wish someone “nothing but the best” is not just about avoiding the fireworks in the moment. It is about positioning yourself for future success, perhaps in partnership with that same offending party, or perhaps with someone they know.
In any case, burn no bridges. Keep your network intact. Relationships can be destroyed in seconds, but take far longer to repair. If you believe in the value of a broad network, and your presence on LinkedIn is evidence that you do, then you will benefit from this advice as much as I have.
Burn no bridges.
About the Author:
Abe Loper is a business consultant, community outreach coordinator, college professor, and the owner of multiple restaurants in Central Virginia. The grandson of immigrants and a native of the steel belt cities of the Midwest, Abe’s move to Virginia was a response to a chance encounter with a pretty Virginian who later became his wife. They have two children and spend their free time enjoying coffee while discussing how to make the world a better place.