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"We are sorry to report that you services are no longer needed.  We have to let you go."

I find myself making the following statement often to those in my network affected by layoff or forced separation: “It’s not personal.  Most people don’t wake up in the morning and relish in the idea that today they will make someone’s life miserable.”  It is true there are those kinds of managers in the world.  It is not true that it is the default temperament of these folks. 

In the tipped-over employment world driven by the pandemic, everyone is hurting.  Those who have lost their jobs hurt the most.  Emotional, financial, social, and family elements are completely disrupted.  It is easy to go there and take it personally.

Don't Give Your Power Away.

Many people fail to make the connection that blaming others for our fate demands that we transfer ALL our power to them.  We can’t have it both ways.

It is critical not to go through the process of job loss alone.  Another unique feature of this particular downturn and unemployment tsunami it that we are being asked to do the exact opposite of what we need.  We are told to socially distance, stay at home, and cancel any and every engagement with others!  The ability to adapt and reach out using available avenues is critical.  I’ve become adept at scheduling virtual coffees and lunches.  It may seem odd munching a sandwich at my desk while watching my colleagues eating their meal over Zoom, but it works.  Connections get made.  We feel a small sense of normalcy.

Next week we will move forward with understanding how the investment in professional relationships can pay off and what we can do to get ready for the future of a volatile employment market.  Remember, relationships matter.

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Leading in the Moment is produced by Margaret Sumption of Sumption & Wyland. Margaret has over thirty-five years of experience assisting hospitals, nonprofits, and other organizations move their business forward. She is a popular, dynamic, and effective speaker for nonprofit professionals, associations, and policy makers. Margaret is frequently sought after as an executive coach, serving leaders in hospitals and nonprofit organizations.
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