How Do You End Relationships Honorably?

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on closure the image shows an empty road with sign saying "empty road ahead"

Do you practice “honorable closure?”

As an executive leadership coach, I often speak with my clients about the importance of ending things honorably. In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s easy to get caught up in the next project or the next big thing and forget to take a moment to appreciate what has come before. But taking the time to close out relationships, projects, or partnerships in a conscious and thoughtful way can have a huge impact on both parties involved.

It’s not just about saying goodbye, it’s about acknowledging what the other person or organization has brought to the table and expressing gratitude for the experience. Even if the relationship was fraught or difficult, there are always lessons to be learned and value to be gained from the experience.

By practicing honorable closure, we can create space for new possibilities and new types of relationships to emerge. It allows us to keep the door open and maintain connections that may prove valuable down the line.

This week, I encourage you to take a moment to think about any relationships that may be coming to an end. Consider putting 10 or 15 minutes on your calendar to have a conversation with the other party, whether by phone, Zoom, or email, and express your appreciation for the experience. You never know what opportunities may arise in the future, and by ending things honorably, you’re setting the stage for new possibilities to emerge.

Do you want more on this topic? Read my Three Steps to Ending Things with Grace.

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

Leave a Comment