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Good Ways to Burn Bridges

October 7th, 2008

Seven ways to make sure you will never succeed:

  1. Ask for opinions and suggestions, but don’t listen to them.
  2. Send an email when you should make a phone call or meet in person.
  3. Make decisions without considering the context of your assumptions.
  4. Forget that there is a real person on the other end of an email address.
  5. Be unable to say, “It was my fault” (always have an excuse).
  6. Never ask for help.
  7. Step on anyone to get or stay on top.

Whether you are trying to be the best in your field, invent the next Google, or start the next Microsoft; bridges are good and everybody needs them. You never know when a bridge might come in handy, so do your best to maintain as many as you can.

Be polite, be amicable; don’t be a jerk. If someone takes the time to comment on your work, take the time to write them back and say thanks. Similarly, if you like the work of someone else–tell them!

I used to work in a restaurant as a cook and my boss always told me, “No feedback is good feedback.”  People expect their food to be good, so you only hear from them when it is bad. 

One of the best ways to burn bridges is by only providing negative feedback.

Even if you are at the top, be mindful of how you ask for things (and always remember, sometimes you still have to ask). If you are dealing with a venture capital, or trying to motivate your employees, remember that sugar catches more flies than vinegar.

-Shawn

 

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