The term "It's just business" is confusing.
Should business relationships and personal relationships stay separate?
Is it okay then to behave in a different manner than one would towards their personal relationships?
Are these the same people who say not to do business with friends or family? If one cannot do happy productive business with friends or family, what kind of business do they run? What kind of person can only do business with strangers? Not someone I want to do business with, for sure.
It seems the context of the phrase is often when one person is taking advantage of another and this glib expression is supposed to take the edge off the betrayal, somehow.
Perhaps we should be honorable and professional in both personal and professional endeavors. Maybe we should treat business contacts as thoughtfully as we treat our friends and our friends with the same deference we treat customers.
Business IS personal. Watch out for anyone who thinks it isn't. If a business is only dictated by profit than remember the phrase "No honor among thieves." It only takes a turning of the tide to change the nature of the relationship.
For us, this means treating others the way we want to be treated, and that doesn't mean we have to let people take advantage of us.
About the author
TJ Kastning is the principal of Ambassador Search Group, a boutique recruiting agency passionate about finding excellent professionals for amazing construction companies.
Send us your recruiting and hiring questions for our ‘This Week’s Questions’ series. We appreciate the opportunity to contemplate tricky issues.
TJ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.