My Brother – the Philosopher….


I have an older brother that I adore; he is 12 years older than I am because I think I was a “blessing” if you get my drift.  Anyways….. we were texting the other day – damn his kids for showing him how to do that because I am all thumbs and nails – about stuff and he made the most profound statement to me via text “people fire themselves”.

I posted that quote innocently on Facebook and boy did I get some serious thumbs up from folks – no one really wanted to comment about it, but a lot of people agree that people do, in fact, fire themselves.  I AGREE FOLKS!

I’m the kind of supervisor that believes in being honest with my employees – gasp, shock!  If you are having a problem, we are going to discuss it in a constructive and honest environment.  That means I am going to try to turn the situation into a learning moment for you and maybe even for me.  Perhaps my directions weren’t clear or maybe I just plain missed the mark.  The point here is – I believe it’s only fair to talk about “things”, both good and bad, with people who work with me.  When it is time to get serious with an employee I always discuss the issues with her and then give her a day to think about whether she wants to continue to work with me, or resign.  I always make the “reflection day” paid by the company.  The only caveat is that if an employee comes back and agrees to continue working with me, changes must be made.  I don’t expect miracles, but I do expect that any suggestions I made be followed.  I don’t believe in issuing mandates – they don’t do any good and why be negative when you can, and should, be positive and provide useful information to the employee.

I choose not to use discipline or any disciplinary terms, such as a “Write Up”; in fact, I always try to use the word coach when working with an employee, and I like to use performance plans with measurable results that are objective, not subjective, so that the employee and I can sit down to revisit the objectives 2 weeks later.  The point here is – don’t offer suggestions and not follow-up with the employee.  In my opinion, that shows a lack of consideration on my part if I don’t make an effort to recognize positive changes, or if necessary, make the decision to terminate the employee.

What do you think – do you think that “people fire themselves” or not?  How do you handle working with an employee who is struggling?   In my opinion, if we have the resignation talk together you should know that you are struggling because we’ve discussed it.

Yes, my big brother is very smart and another in the long-line of family business owners in my HUGE family.  I’m proud of him and I’m proud of his kids.  He is one smart, and successful, cookie.  Blessings –