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DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently had to let go of an employee, mainly due to budget cuts at my company. But if I am honest, it is also because he was not a high performer. There were often gaps in his job skillset. Even though I pointed out his shortfalls and made recommendations for how he could do his job better during the time we worked together, he really didn’t improve much. My boss thought we should let him go in the 90-day probationary window, so we did. We all have at-will contracts, so we could have let him go anyway. It was done nicely, but he wasn’t told why he was fired. I like this young man. He is early in his career. Part of me wants to reach out to him to see how he’s doing and to tell him what I think he could do better in his next job. Do you think that would be OK to do? — Mentoring
DEAR MENTORING: As long as you do not overstep company policy by reaching out to this young man, I love this idea. Constructive feedback can be transformative for people because it allows them to see from another’s trusted perspective how they have performed. Too often people are fired from jobs and have no idea what they did wrong. I believe it is kind and beneficial to share insights about how this man performed on the job, and more, what he might do better in his next work setting.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I spent the whole summer partying with friends. Every weekend we got together, ate a lot and drank more. Plenty of weekdays we did the same. It was fun, but I am exhausted, and I feel like I need a cleanse. My partner, however, wants to keep partying. I know it’s not good for either of us to continue to drink heavily, but I can’t seem to get him to consider slowing down. What can I do to get him to reconsider? — Time To Detox
DEAR TIME TO DETOX: Come up with a plan that sounds like fun to your partner. Invite him to commit to 30 days of eating clean food, drinking water, refraining from drinking alcohol and exercising at least 30 minutes each day. Research some tasty recipes that you believe you both will enjoy. Buy a case of water and challenge each other to see who can drink the most. Take walks or ride bikes together. Figure out things you can do with each other that are healthy.
If you find that one or both of you cannot stay sober during this period, consider getting some help. There’s no shame in needing support to correct bad habits. Many people have been in a similar position. The most important thing is to notice what’s going on in your life. If you cannot control your behavior, get help.