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how to fire employees

How to Let Go of a Team Member with Grace

This business stuff isn’t easy, but it sure is worth it.

There are many paths to awakening. For me, it’s been relationship, parenting, and business. Each one forcing me to look at the truth of who I am and come into ever more alignment with how I choose to be.

This morning I had to let go of a team member.

In the past, I would have known it for months, but avoided it, finding reasons to not let go. Then, I would build up resentment and anger until they could feel my unhappiness and leave on their own. Or, if they never did, I would eventually fire the person, generally at the worst time possible. And then feel like shit about it.

In business you are going to have to let people go. There is a way to do it with grace. {Tweet It!}

I feel grateful to have discovered (and been coached) over the years to discover the path of grace.

How to Let Go of a Team Member:

It starts with carefully clarifying. I learned this one from the current CEO of my lawyer training company. Before doing anything, always carefully clarify. In the past, I generally jumped to conclusions rather quickly. So, I spent the past few weeks carefully clarifying what this team member was doing and whether there was actually a match I was missing.

After carefully clarifying, communicate clearly. Once I knew what this team member was working on and what I needed, I clearly communicated what I needed to be done. Then I gave her some time and space to do what the company needed.

After communicating clearly, give some space and relax. Another thing I was generally not the best at in the past. Maybe I would communicate clearly, but then I would get impatient and anxious. Breathing and relaxing is far better.

After I gave space and relaxed, I was able to see that this team member really didn’t want to do what I needed done. There were other things she was doing, but those things could easily be absorbed by another team member and didn’t justify a full position.

So, this morning, I called her on Skype and in a voice to voice conversation, shared what was true and let her go.

In the past, I may have done this via text Skype because having the voice to voice conversation would have felt so hard. Part of me wanted to do that this morning, but I worked with that part and then made the call because voice to voice connection was the right thing to do, even thought it felt uncomfortable.

And now this team member is free to find a role that is truly in alignment with her highest and best work in the world. And we are free to find someone who wants to do what needs to be done.

This all may seem pretty basic to some of you, but this is not what I had modeled for me growing up as a kid or growing up in the business of law. I had to come to this after years of getting it wrong, learning, growing and evolving from my mistakes, and my hope is that sharing this here with you will help you learn to do the right thing from the start.

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Now I’d love to hear from you…

Have you ever had to let a team member go? Share your experiences below (good or bad) and the process you used. Or, join us in our Private Facebook group where the best conversations happen.