By Hugh Stewart
Firing someone is never easy. Likewise, being fired is also never easy. It is important that you maintain perspective throughout the firing process, and regard the person in front of you as a living, breathing, intelligent, capable human being, who just happens to be not working out for you.
This perspective check requires that you develop a certain level of patience and empathy. Recognize that there is value in this human being, there is purpose, and there is inspiration. Even if they are behaving in a rude or unprofessional manner, you must have the disposition that they are being defensive and emotional because of the personal attachment they have to the job. They may not have such a negative disposition after being fired. In fact, you may find that they become grateful when you recognize that they are not doing well and decide to let them move on to a new relationship or opportunity. That gives them the freedom to go out and find something that they really love and are passionate about.
Many times we lose our perspective on firing employees because we confuse the fact that they are not working out well for us with the fact that we think there is something wrong with them. As an employer who is looking to maintain a culture of respect and honor, I challenge you to create and uphold a different standard. Appreciate who they are. Be careful not to confuse who they are with what they did or did not do for you. For me, maintaining that level of respect, regard and honor has led to exit interviews in which people are crying, hugging me, and thanking me for the opportunity to have worked with me as I take their keys.
Recognize that when someone is fired effectively, everyone wins. The former employee gets to be in line with another opportunity, while the business owner gets to better understand his or her organization and uphold its values.
In an effective firing, employees will often ask for their jobs back. If they have already been a cultural deficit, make sure to kindly say, “No.”
Hugh Stewart, founder and CEO of Confident Solutions Coach, has both a substantial education background and diverse entrepreneurial background. Stewart was not only a nuclear fuel designer, but he has created and operated more than 17 businesses in the past 10 years in industries such as money services, real estate, advertising, reinsurance consulting, and coaching.
Stewart seeks to help business owners who are struggling or simply wish to move their business to the next level. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for a free business consultation here.
Originally published: Sep 21, 2011