It's Just Business
The old saying "it's just business" needs to die. The idea that we can separate humanity from economic transactions is absurd and harmful to all involved.
It is certainly true that we can't please everyone and that we have to make difficult decisions in business. That is part of the deal.
But that doesn't mean "it's just business."
We are dealing with immortals here, eternally valuable people with God's image and love stamped on them. So when we see things as just business and not an interpersonal exchange between two real life people, we strip the situation of meaning and love.
There is a time to terminate someone, and it should be done with care, honesty, and tact. There is a time to negotiate hard for a good deal. Treating others with respect and value does not mean we lay over like a Golden Retriever, but it does mean that we cannot remove the human element.
I think a simple guiding light here is the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you (my paraphrase of the verse in my dad's voice, as he taught me much about the Golden rule over the years). Most of us have heard this and most of us know that Jesus said this, but how many of us operate like this?
It is never "just business."