Breaking up well?

January 24, 2014

“It's not every day you get fired and feel so good about the process and the outcome!”

 

A client recently sent me a touching note of appreciation for our work together in a social therapy group. She wanted help to develop relationship skills and to become a more powerful conversationalist both in her personal and professional life. She got that help in our group, where a diverse set of people come together weekly to practice being givers, even in the midst of messy, painful, difficult life situations and relationships. Group is an emotional - development playground where folks get support to practice slowing down, responding versus reacting, being curious, and not assuming. 

“It's not every day you get fired and feel so good about the process and the outcome!”

 

A client recently sent me a touching note of appreciation for our work together in a social therapy group. She wanted help to develop relationship skills and to become a more powerful conversationalist both in her personal and professional life. She got that help in our group, where a diverse set of people come together weekly to practice being givers, even in the midst of messy, painful, difficult life situations and relationships. Group is an emotional - development playground where folks get support to practice slowing down, responding versus reacting, being curious, and not assuming. 

 

This client has experience with being fired under very bad circumstances,

including instances of betrayal, shaming and blaming, avoidance, and dishonesty. These types of interactions, unfortunately, are a part of many breakups, professional and personal.

 

So you would understand that I was quite intrigued and excited to read in her note to me:

 

 “It's not every day you get fired and feel so good about the process and the outcome!”

 

She explained that her boss asked to meet with her for that gut wrenching  ‘we need to talk’ conversation.  My client was understandably nervous, but decided to perform differently than what the societal script dictates we do, which would be to feel victimized, act defensively, be devastated.  She was going to be developmental.  And she was.

 

Here is my client’s description of what happened next: 

 

“[My boss] very simply (and gently) [opens] with "It's not working out." I asked her to tell me more and asked to understand better. I didn't feel defensive, only curious to better understand. In her description it felt more like a bad fit of talents than doing a bad job. We talked for a while and had a good conversation. I was able to express to her my gratitude for taking a chance on me.”

 

In not taking on the prescribed role of powerless victim, and rather, being open, curious, and giving, even in the face of a difficult situation and difficult emotions, my client led an intimate conversation between the firing boss and the being fired employee.

 

Changing the script, being giving in the face of being hurt - now that’s powerful! That skill was created collectively in our therapy group.

 

I love our work together. I will try my hardest to remember my client’s performance next time I am getting dumped.  Thank you.

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