Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to Fire Someone or Have a Difficult Conversation with an Employee

There has been a lot of news recently about some high-profile firings in government, along with some discussion about how best to let an employee go so this seems like a good time to cover some of the basics.

In addition to following your company protocol, when having a tough conversation with an employee or colleague, or when firing someone on your team consider the following basics.

Meet in person. Difficult conversations are best held face to face. This allows you to convey some degree of warmth and compassion for the other person through your body language, in addition to your words. It also provides a sense of dignity and brings professionalism to the situation. Just as you should never break up with a romantic partner by text or email, do not have tough work conversations through these methods of communication.

Stick to the facts. You'll want to focus on the specific details related to the firing or the need for the meeting and keep it simple and short. There is no need to do a lot of unnecessary small talk because the other person will likely need time away to process the information and their changed situation.

Read the situation. Upon providing the news or feedback be silent. Let the other person decide if they want to ask questions or ask for clarification. As noted above, some people will simply want to leave, others might get upset and emotional. Be prepared for a variety of responses and respond calmly and kindly.

Don't make it about the other person. As noted above, you'll want to focus on the specific facts or behaviors that have led to the firing or the need for the discussion. Do not comment on the other person's personality, psychological, or emotional qualities. You are not there to attack their character or personality but to provide a reasoned critique of their work performance.

Follow these basic principles to make a difficult conversation proceed more smoothly.

No comments:

Post a Comment