No B.S. Coaching Advice

how to fire someone

How to Fire Someone | Career Angles

A simple suggestion for firing someone.


Hi! I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter.. I’m called The Big Game Hunter because I
want to coach you to play your professional and personal games bigger.
And this is an aptly named video called, “How to fire someone?” If you haven’t done
it before, you’re contemplating it now, you may be going through what I
call . . . the mistake I made. You know, in the instances where I’ve had to fire
someone and invariably what happens is now I’ve spent weeks agonizing over this,
the person feels like a part of my team but that just is not performing and no
amount of support or coaching is helping.. I’m just going to go off on a tangent
for a second. Let me just stick to the core. So, I invited him into my office.
I started to talk about some of the problems again and they started
explaining to me why my information was incorrect, even though I knew I was
correct with it. We start engaging in an argument and, invariably, we get to the
point where I say, “look, here’s the fact.” I let them go there. But we’ve gone through
this huge argument. The argument isn’t good for either of our blood pressures and it
doesn’t help them. It doesn’t help me especially since I’ve been thinking
about this for a long time. And it was a hard decision to make. Here’s what I
realized I had to do. Here’s what I’m going to encourage you to do. Invite them into your
office . You sit them down and you start off with these words. “We’re going to have
to let you go.” Right up front. This heads off the arguing. They said, “but, why?” You
can simply say, “There have been a couple of things that have come up over the last
few months. You know, they’ve changed our circumstances,” or you can go into, “you
know, your performance hasn’t been up to snuff, right?
“How so?” Remember that meeting we had two weeks ago where I told you such and such
and you haven’t changed at all.” You know what to do from that point on. But just
start off with the “we’re going to have to let you go,” part of the conversation
and that can be true whether this is a firing for cause or firing because of
economic circumstances. The economic one is easy. “We’re going to have to let you
go. You’ve probably figured out by now that business hasn’t been great,” and then you
go from there. Thus, the onus isn’t on you and the firm, rather than their
performance. If it’s a performance issue you have the choice about how to
dance there but, at the end of the day, start with the message, “we’re going to
have to let you go.” It’s going to head off a lot of the arguing, even if they
dispute something in what you’ve said, it’s done. It’s over. There’s no arguing.
You’ve told them, “we’re going to have to let you go. I’m Jeff Altman. Hope you found
this helpful. I want to encourage you visit my website which is
There’s a lot of information there that’s going to help you play
bigger. Go for encouragement. Reach out to me as well the scheduled time for
coaching because this is only one element. There’s also the part that basically
says, “look, you know, I want to help you succeed and succeeding may
involve some change on your organization’s part. And some change on
your part. Rather than try and figure it out on your own and get distracted, hire
me as a coach so I can support you with your decision and support you on
your follow-through. Again, you can find out about that at my website,
Hope you have a great day. Take care!



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call or schedule time forCareer Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter coaching.

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join the Career Angles group on Facebook.

We grant permission for this post and others to be used on your website as long as a backlink is included and notice is provided that it is provided by Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter as an author or creator plus a backlink to

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: