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The Resignation

You’re what?
That’s right, eventually we all hear this.

A person you have worked hard with, nurtured, tutored, coached, guided, etc. has decided to leave you. Sometimes it’s hard to hear. Actually, most of the time it’s hard to hear. If the person wasn’t performing well or needed help, then you either helped them or hindered them.

But now what?

They’ve had hours, days, weeks or maybe years to come to terms with this. You? Well, you just heard it from them and now you have to respond.

This is a Moment of Truth. What you say next, and possibly how you say it, will live on well after that person has left your company.

I recently heard DeAngelo Williams talking about a similar thing. De said, “Imagine just coming off the football field and having just lost a close or tough game, then they shove a microphone in your face and ask you how you feel.”

That’s the same type of feeling that can creep into a resignation meeting. Think about it. One minute you are sitting there doing something and then a knock on the door, then the ole’, “Have you got a minute?” The next thing you know, you’re hearing whatever it is that’s driving the resignation.

Guess what? Your turn.

Surprised, shocked, disappointed, pissed off or perhaps even relived; those are some of the many feelings that settle in after you hear the news.

Don’t allow your emotions to win. That’s the hardest lesson that I have personally learned from being on the receiving end of a resignation. Depending upon the situation, you may ask for some time to let the news soak in. “Let me think this through and I will call you after the newness of this settles on me a bit”, may be a decent reaction.

The key is to make the transition smooth for all, especially the good folks at your company that are not leaving. Depending on the resignee, maybe them leaving immediately is best, maybe they are generous and offer you a healthy notice of two weeks or more. Every situation will be unique.

If this departure is done well, both by you and by them, the relationship can not only survive, but can actually thrive at an entirely new level. To this day, I personally have many great relationships with former employees.


Because we all handled ourselves in a caring manner in the days leading up to the final day.

To this day, I have people that are former employees that I don’t have contact at all with.


Because one or both of us didn’t handle it well.

There is no true play-book on this topic. People are people and we all do things that others may not understand. People have all kinds of different motivators. I am only saying to think ahead and make sure you know how to respond with the correct and honest things. If we can all do the right thing on the way out, everyone wins in the long-run.

Honesty, maturity and being candid are huge factors in determining the direction the resignation process takes.

Until next time, stay unfeigned.

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