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How to let someone go nicely ?

(3 Posts)
wehaveafloater Wed 19-Feb-20 20:48:49

Got this freelancer working with me currently but they won't take direction, won't ask for help when I can clearly see they are out of their depth. I have asked them not to do a few things related to the work but it's obvious that they are blatantly still doing it. Now late with a time deadline . How do I say it's not working and they are nice, but simply don't make the grade ?

I hate the thought that I'm letting them down, but looking back I have offered countless times to help and mentor.
It's just falling on deaf ears and I'm beginning to realise that they wrongly believe that their way is best not my way.
It's my name on the headed paper . So surely my way is the way things should be done ?
This is what I've asked for and surely what I'm paying for . ( I'm just being a doormat aren't I )
Please help me man up and sort this in a kind way . Thanks 😊

OP’s posts: |
maxelly Thu 20-Feb-20 12:46:24

If your only aim is to be nice and minimise conflict, I'd pretty much lie I'm afraid, and pretend you no longer need their services due to a reduction in business or downturn in finances or whatever you can plausibly say. In these situations, a more-or-less-pretend redundancy is usually the best way for everyone to maintain face and for the person to leave on reasonably good terms (obviously this person being freelance this isn't a redundancy in law but same principles apply). If you don't want to/can't do that but don't want a full on discussion of their failings, then next best option is to just vaguely say you are very sorry but it isn't working out and not be drawn any further on it. Either of these options won't help the person understand what they've done wrong and how to improve for next time of course but then that isn't necessarily your responsibility, particularly if you've already had honest conversations about this and tried your best to help them improve.

If you do want to at least try and help them understand, then I would try and have a very dispassionate/calm conversation, with 2 or 3 clear points of what they have done wrong, each backed up with examples. Try and keep it impersonal (so not 'you don't take direction well' but 'on these occasions you were asked to do ABC and instead did XYZ'). But don't be surprised if they don't take your points on board and instead interpret what you are saying as wrong or an attack on them, most people are kind of hard-wired to be defensive and not reflect on or change their own behaviour easily (particularly if they have recently gotten bad news like the loss of their job).

Either way, give them plenty of notice (more than required by your contract if you can afford to do so), agree to give a factual (not necessarily a glowing) reference if requested and stay firm, don't let yourself be talked into giving them a second chance!

wehaveafloater Thu 20-Feb-20 17:33:11

Thank you. I think I'm going to have to be honest as I'm pants at lying. I'll take onboard your advise, thank you! thanks

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