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Getting Eliminated With Tact and Diplomacy July 20, 2011

Posted by christinapappas in Uncategorized.

This has absolutely nothing to do with content marketing, lead generation or social media but hey, it’s my blog and this recently happened to me and I know for a fact I am not alone. My elimination, the extinction of my position, the none-need for my talent has been weighing on me making me question everything about what I did in my position, how I treated others and why o why was I chosen to be *shock* eliminated.

My dad always talked about ‘tact and diplomacy’. He said everyone should have this written on their blackboard or somewhere that they can see it every day. The whole idea behind this powerful phrase is to ‘always say the right thing no matter what.’ Well, in some cases its best not to say anything at all (like when your being told that your position no longer exists). Why do they call it ‘being eliminated’ anyways? How can you not have a negative reaction to something so *ahem* negative?

So let’s get to it. When you are in the hot seat, how do you get eliminated with tact and diplomacy?

Don’t play the blame game

So remember what I said earlier about saying the right thing at the right time? Well, try not to say anything during the initial conversation unless asked. Your emotions are most likely running wild and you don’t want to arm them with the upper hand and see that they ‘got to you’. Not crying will also help too. Don’t blame them, don’t blame yourself, stop asking ‘why’ and start asking ‘what next.’ (thanks for my friend Robert Caruso for that one)

You have to admit, it’s not your fault

So your position was eliminated. Does that really mean that you did a bad job? They didn’t like you? You said the wrong thing at the wrong time? Weren’t moving as fast – or slow – as the company wanted you to? It’s really not your fault and I feel a little like a support group participant telling you this, but it’s really not. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can move on, find a new position at another company or launch something really great that you always wanted to and never found the time – or reason – to.

It’s all about you now so re-direct your focus

Maybe you haven’t always had the time, energy or commitment it takes to do things for yourself. I can relate. With 10-12 hour workdays, blogging on weekends and spending my commute to and from work on the phone talking about work doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for #1 (by the way, that’s you). So now you can. Take a breather. Try one of those free on demand workout videos you always wanted to. Read all the books you bought and never got around to reading. Start your own blog and build a personal network of connections. Yes, look for a job but don’t burn yourself out doing it.

A blessing in disguise

Don’t go beating yourself up because your position was eliminated. I have worked with numerous people who would have never ever left their positions if they hadn’t been caught in this situation. And you know what? They are in even better roles now with much bigger paychecks. A kick in the ass could be your own blessing in disguise even though it doesn’t feel like it now and certainly won’t tomorrow.

Your resume misses you

So I am going to assume you didn’t see this coming so your resume is probably not what it could be and all that it should be. What better time than right now to visit your resume and start putting together all those great accomplishments you achieved over the past x months or years? Focus on what you delivered to the company and not so much on building a list of tasks and responsibilities. Did you increase the social media community by 80%? Did you increase conversions and referral traffic? Make sure this stuff is in there.

Call your lawyer or ask for a referral to a labor attorney

For some of you this may sound like a drastic move but it doesn’t mean there is a court case involved, that you are planning to sue or that talking to someone means anything other than getting advice. Whether you were offered a severance package or not, seeking legal council to review your rights and the best way to respond to this decision is your best decision.

Getting eliminated sucks. That’s it. It just sucks and it can be emotionally taxing on you but it doesn’t have to get the best of you. I watched my father go through lay off after lay off my entire life and he just kept repeating this phrase ‘tact and diplomacy’. I know deep down that he wanted to bash some skulls but he kept his cool and moved on. You can too.

Has your position ever been eliminated? Any advice you could add to the list? Would love to see some personal stories in the comments!



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