Getting fired can be devastating, especially to a conscientious employee. As a manager in the tech startup world, where turnover can be quite high and things change fast, I’ve had to let many good people go — and when I do, I’m acutely aware of how painful it is for them. But because I also focus full-time on the art of sales, I’ve learned to think of it this way: Firing involves an element of selling. It requires empathy, asking the right questions, and guiding someone to your desired outcome in an authentic and honest way. While I’m selling people on the idea that they’ll no longer be at the company, I’m helping them to see it’s what is best for them as well. This may sound manipulative or callous; it isn’t. When done right, it actually makes the transition easier.
March 6, 2017