Saying sayonara…And saving face
Some years ago, a sports reporter asked legendary NFL coach Paul Brown how he broke the news to a player that he was being cut. Brown replied, “It’s easy. I just explain that he’s about to begin his life’s work”. Well if only separating an employee were that easy your life would have one less complication.
But the fact is it still isn’t as hard as some make it.
First, a team member who’s coming up short and who’s been counseled (probably repeatedly) to alter his or her ways, probably won’t be all that shocked to learn that the end has finally come. But even then, the news that they’re about to join the ranks of the unemployed still won’t come as an ego boost. That’s why we need to remember in that moment our job is no longer to bring about performance improvement. We’re tried that and have failed. Now our task is to separate that failed associate as painlessly as possible.
Now assuming that you’re not planning to fight an unemployment claim, given the choices available, the worst is to lay all the blame on them. That’ll clearly not achieve the least painful separation. And if we candy coat it and totally blame ourselves, that probably won’t fly as credible. Better to explain that everyone’s not cut out for the job and that while you know they did their best it just wasn’t a good fit.
And right now, with today’s robust employment picture, we can end the pain knowing that that person’s chances for quickly finding a new position is better that good.
Next up: Tips on handling a not so cordial separation.
Needing help and…
Needing help and…accomplishing more
One thing’s certain. Occasionally we all need some help. That goes for pretty much everything involved in our businesses. The problem is that for the most part, there isn’t any to be had – at least not conveniently. But being resourceful in either creating ingenuous workarounds that effectively add that extra hand, or recruiting the occasional helper, can make the near impossible task only difficult and perhaps a breeze!
Setting aside the physical challenges – like being on both sides of a wash tank while installing that through-wall detergent feed fitting, or triggering a rinse gate while simultaneously positioning a bottle to measure feedback, there are also the non-mechanical ones that benefit from that extra set of eyes, ears and even another perspective.
One example of that is making that tough cold call. There the addition of another set of eyes and ears can make all the difference in picking up on a critical hint to cracking that tough nut of a prospect – a hint that we might easily miss if we’re operating solo. And sometimes just having that wingman there can make what is otherwise a daunting task, much easier- and even less intimidating.
Yep. We might be a one man band most of the time, but the simple truth is that by occasionally teaming up we can turn a three hour task into half that and in the case of that cold call, turn a rejection into a solid toehold that can lead to a great new customer.