The Hardest Firing Ever, Isabelle Guarino Young Boss Podcast

Firing Family Members and Friends – How to Navigate the Emotional Minefield

Have you ever felt like you’re navigating an emotional minefield? Or like the floor is always lava?

Well, that’s a bit what firing friends and family can feel like. 

Letting go of friends and family is easily one of the most challenging things I’ve had to deal with as a young boss. The emotional toll can be so overwhelming, and it can be tempting to let  feelings get in the way of things.

But, it’s vital that you lead by example, and do what’s best for your business – even if that means firing someone close to you.

Here are my top tips for navigating the emotional minefield:

Be Honest with Yourself About the Reasons for the Termination

Are they not meeting your expectations, or is it a cultural or core value fit issue? It’s vital to know exactly why you’re making the decision so you’ll be able to approach the situation objectively.

Communication Is Key

Speak openly and honestly with the person you’re firing. Be clear about the reasons why they’re being let go and give them the opportunity to respond. Be a good listener, people are processing some tough information during this process and it is important that you support them. 

Have a Support System in Place

Communicate with the people in your corner. Having a friend, family member, or even sometimes a therapist to vent to and riff with about the experience can be cathartic at times. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if YOU need it – firing is hard for everyone involved!

Be Kind and Compassionate to Yourself

Firing someone close to you can be a traumatic experience, and it’s important to take care of yourself and give yourself the time and space to process your emotions.

What are some of the best tips you’ve received for firing people?


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