Always Let the Other Person Save Face

June 26, 2013

“Firing employees is not much fun. Getting fired is even less fun. Our business is mostly seasonal. Therefore we have to let a lot of people go when the income tax rush is over.”

In his book, “How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie quotes these words in a letter written to him by Marshall A. Granger, a certified public accountant.

But here’s the thing: Granger learned early on that there’s a right way and a wrong way to tell a valued employee that his or her services are no longer needed. Whereas there was a propensity for getting the task over with quickly by sitting the employee down and telling the person they were only hired for the busy season and that there were no more assignments available for them, Granger soon learned to deliver the news with more tact and consideration.

His new approach was to tell the employee that he or she had done a fine job (if, in fact, that was the case) and that he was impressed with the way they handled tough assignments. He reaffirmed that the company was proud of them, and told them how much he was rooting for their future successes.

The result was the person went away feeling a lot better about being fired. They didn’t feel “let down,” and when the company needed them again they came back with a keen personal affection.”

Here’s an example of this key fundamental principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of the Northwest:

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