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The first time you have to let go of someone

Limor Bergman Gross

Executive Coach at LBG Consulting Service Ltd

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Problem

"I had only been a manager for one year and was confronted with a difficult situation. A girl in my team was clearly underperforming. Although she was smart and had the capabilities to do a lot, she didn't seem motivated. I progressively noticed this and for about six months, I tried to give her various tasks to boost her motivation, but this didn't work."

Actions taken

"Although the right decision was to let her go, I was not at ease with telling her this, as it was the first time I had been put in charge of firing someone. Fortunately, I was helped a lot by my manager and my former manager, who coached me on how to handle this matter. I invited her to my office and told her that she was not performing and didn't seem motivated at work so she would have to leave that day. She burst into tears and told me that she had applied to study for a Master's degree and was expecting to leave the company in a few months to begin this."

Lessons learned

"For the rest of my career, I have remembered that when you do something unpleasant you have to be very determined and focus on what you need to do when you go into the meeting, in order not to become emotional. Looking back, I also realize that I should have given her more constructive feedback before firing her, and this is something I now try to do better."


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Limor Bergman Gross

Executive Coach at LBG Consulting Service Ltd


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