No One Talks About Severance And That's Because The Process Is Painful
Terminations are uncomfortable but can still result in a graceful parting
If you’re a people manager, eventually you’ll have to fire someone.
One of the things I had to do as an executive at multiple companies is fire people. It’s not a part of any job that I particularly like to dwell on, but it is a part of any job where you’re managing a team.
I’ve fired people for whom the conversation felt like a surprise (no matter how clear I thought I’d been in the weeks leading up to it). I’ve fired people who sat down and said “I’m being fired now, aren’t I?” I’ve had honest conversations during which we’ve come to a common understanding that a person and role are no longer a fit. I’ve given people gentle, weeks-long exits. I’ve had people escorted from the premises before they could wreak further havoc. The vast majority of the time, these terminations have been uncomfortable, maybe upsetting, but have ultimately enabled a graceful parting of ways where all parties felt respected.
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