Balancing Mind and Emotions When You Are Firing Someone

The first time I was in the position of firing an employee, I let my emotions take over. The task was so unpleasant for me. Although the firing was justified, I knew it would be very hard for the employee. My boss warned me to be considered and careful. However, I did not heed his advice. In the end, I paid for it. I gave the employee two weeks notice (allowing her to stay at work). All went well. Until the day after she left, we discovered that she had wiped out very important drives on our computers in retaliation. Lesson learned – I didn’t let my emotions reign the next time.

For many managers, firing someone, is not a welcome task. One way to prepare for it is to balance your mind and emotions as you proceed. The balance lies first, in your mind – in acknowledging that firing is often a tough and unpleasant task with very negative impacts for the employee – and in taking responsibility for your decision. Then secondly, in your emotions – in being as compassionate as possible in delivering the news. Firing is tough, no getting around it. Balancing your mind and emotions helps you conduct yourself in a clear, forthright manner with integrity.

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