Should we be Burning Bridges or creating new/better relationships where ever we go?
I don’t know if it is something cultural (I’m 3rd generation Japanese), or because of my Christian up bringing; but I tend to give, give freely and enjoy doing it. I volunteer for events with my local Women’s Club, when we had kids, I volunteered at the schools, helped run the PTO’s and am currently involved with local chamber and other groups. I just spent my weekend at Give Camp, helping NPO’s.
I don’t usually look at “what’s in it for me” or my business, although I hope people might remember me, and my work, and if it is good enough, they might consider hiring TRB Design, Inc. sometime in the future. I
“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”~ Amelia Earhart 1897 – 1937, American aviation pioneer and author.
So I am surprised when I am attacked and accused of doing something to seemingly harm an organization. What should one do? Fight back? Spread my injustice all over social media?
Obviously there is some mis-connect in communications, the dynamics I have yet to understand.
So, when an email hit my inbox and was titled: How Do You Handle Harsh Criticism From Customers? By Derek Halpern at DIYthemes, talking about Tim Sanders book: Today we are Rich (download a free excerpts copy here), of course I was intrigued (Customer, interchangeable with NPO, friend, etc.)
They talked about an exercise: “Nuts and Shells”
“When you’re feeling hurt, this exercise pulls you back into reality and anchors you there.”
When you eat nuts, there is a protective shell that shields the edible portion of the nut, and how do you get to the tasty center? You use a nutcracker, and then what do you do with the shells? You throw them out.
What does that mean to us here? It means that I should seize this as an opportunity to learn something, learn what I can and then throw out the negative (the shells) and move on.
So in this case I still need to get to the root of the problem. Was their action intentional or unintentional? What is the real reason for their action? Were they upset that I resigned from the board of the organization? Is it that I gave too much, too freely, and when I pulled back, there was resentment? Was I in denial and did the organization not value my time and commitment when I was there?
I may never truly know or understand what went on. My take away (the meat) from this is that I will be more cautious with future relationships with organizations, and that my perception of this organization had changed forever. On the positive side, I know that I contributed to the organization on many levels, and I am proud of what I did while serving on their board, regardless of how the relationship “ended.”
What should have the organization done instead? I would have gladly participated in events, helped with the website, emails, and fundraising, even though I was not a board member, but they were clear that my help was not needed. Makes one wonder how successful they will be in the future if they can “afford” to “burn bridges.”
Or should they be working on building more bridges?
What have you done to build bridges instead of burning them?
What steps do you take when confronted with negative feedback?
- Building Bridges – #NEGC2011 (thenon-profittoolbox.com)
- Paying it forward – A Cascade of Cooperation (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)