If you’re wondering what to do in any situation, just be kind.
An Unexpected Kind of Kind
In my line of work, I’ve seen a lot of people let go. Between cost cutting, structural change, or bad fits in large companies I have seen lots of people downsized, right sized, and simply fired. I have been one of them. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not kind.
In fact, of all the people I have interacted or heard from in the business where I worked, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone speaking badly about it. Sure, no one likes it, but it may just be the best thing for everyone.
In my experience, I was not only set up with a comfortable amount of severance, but transition services, funding for skills training, and more. Although the company needed to change their direction, they approached it pretty much as ethically as I think they could.
As some businesses might just fire someone, this company decided to be kind and do it’s best for the people that had been displaced by restructuring. I’m very grateful and blessed to have worked for such a company.
Always Be Kind, Even When it’s Tough
Being kind is not always easy, not just because some people can be a pain in the ass, but because situations can make it a challenge. How can you just be kind when you have to fire someone? How can you just be kind when someone is being cruel to someone else?
The answer is simple, but not easy: do the right thing.
If someone is working in a job that isn’t right for them, no one is happy. You should always try to find a good fit for them. Provide training as needed. But if after all that they aren’t measuring up, not only is the company suffering, including other employees and customers, but the person is suffering too. No one feels fulfilled in a job they suck at. Letting them go is an act of kindness, not of itself, but with the proper preparation, compensation, and employment assistance.
If someone is being cruel to someone else, letting them be cruel is not kind. Letting them know that’s not appropriate and there are better ways to act is more kind than doing nothing. Letting people get away with bad behavior is cruel in itself.
How do we make the world better? Just be kind. Always be kind, even when it’s tough. Sometimes it means being tough and sometimes it means confronting bad behavior, but doing the right thing is always kind when we do it the right way.
Just be kind.