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I have been privy to thousands of corporate transitions, including my own, and through these processes I have observed both good and bad behaviours from managers and employees. The impact of a termination for many of us is a defining moment – in an instant my finances, family and a million emotions flashed before me – all while I smiled and thanked the individual for the news. I know many people are thrilled with the news about their termination or have been waiting for a package, sometimes for years, but in my professional opinion if you did not choose to leave there is still a piece of you that feels the loss.
My experience has taught me that most people conduct themselves in a very professional manner and walk out the door with their professional dignity intact. However, there is a small percentage of managers and employees that behave inappropriately and leave a lasting impression that can never be reversed.
I have seen employees scream, cry, threaten suicide and even become violent. On the other side, I have seen managers act cold and calculating using the termination meeting as a place to review all the wrongs the employee had done in the past to justify the termination.
My caution to managers and employees is to simply behave in a way that is professional, dignified and respectful during a termination meeting. After all the work you have done for a company that is how you will be remembered.
Below are some best practices for both managers and employees during this life altering meeting: