Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Telltale Signs That You Might be Fired

In many cases, workers are shocked when they are dismissed from their jobs.  They don't see it coming.  In today's Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger writes about the signs that might suggest your job is at risk.  Here's her list of warning signs:
  • Your boss stops dropping by your desk with suggestions.
  • You’re left out of important meetings you used to attend.
  • Once-friendly colleagues start to avoid you.
  • You never get any feedback.
  • You never ask for any feedback.
  • You start comparing yourself to mediocre peers rather than stars.
  • You’re not sure what your boss cares about.
  • You don’t care what your boss cares about.
In general, the article focuses on the problem of low self-awareness.  In too many instances, people do not recognize their own under-performance, or understand their weaknesses in the eyes of their boss.   Shellenbarger cites a particularly compelling academic study published in 2014 by Oliver Sheldon, David Dunning, and Daniel Ames.  These scholars found that people's overly optimistic views of their own performance tend to persist even in the face of critical/negative feedback.   In fact, low performers tend to dispute the legitimacy of that feedback or the person who provided it.  Finally, their studies show that high performers tended to be more interested and willing to pursue self-improvement strategies with regard to issues such as emotional intelligence.   Consequently, it would appear that the stronger performers only get better, while the low performers miss key opportunities to develop their capabilities.  


Harris said...

I think it's also a failure of managers if the employee does not see their dismissal coming.

Performance, expectations, and reality should be clearly communicated.

The cost of employee turnover is enormous. The reasons employees are surprised they are being fired are often the same reason employees leave.

Poor communication, low transparency, lack of mentorship and growth opportunities.

It's easy to blame the boss but both parties need to be aware of potential management pitfalls and start a dialogue early.

Michael Roberto said...

Completely agree.