As a follow up to our last article about How to Lessen the Pain of Breaking Up with a Member or Firing a Coach, we are lucky enough to have a Level Method Legion member (who preferred to remain anonymous) share a personal story of him going through that exact situation.
Sometimes it is helpful to see how others dealt with a situation you may be currently going through. We certainly felt his process valuable and we hope you do too!
So, you had a problem with a coach, can you describe the moment you knew you needed to take action?
The situation had been building up for quite a while. It was all hearsay and I really wanted to get some solid evidence before making such a big decision. After a while though the fingers kept pointing back to the same person and the picture became clearer. I was still hoping to uncover the smoking gun but I could tell my staff was at their limit with the situation. I knew if I let it go any longer I would lose staff and members. We were gathered in the office and I told them I would take care of it that day.
Are there any specific strategies you took when breaking the news?
Once the decision was made, I felt it was important to let the coach know that evening. I didn’t want it to drag out and didn’t want to risk any one of my other staff members that knew to leak the information. When sitting down with the coach, I made sure to get right to the point and let them know we were parting ways. I tried to keep it as positive as possible and not talk down to them in any way. I wanted to keep us on good terms as much as possible to avoid them trying to smear our name in any way. I told them I would keep the details to myself so they weren’t worried about me badmouthing them.
Did you do anything to smooth the transition afterward?
We prepared a message to the members letting them know that we were parting ways and just said it was best for our community. We didn’t want to air our dirty laundry and paint them as a bad person. We’d rather take the high road. We removed their access from coaching software, Slack, and social media right away in case there was any backlash.
What has the overall effect been on the business?
We lost 1 member that was their neighbor and close friend. Other than that, I actually had a lot of members tell me they were glad they were gone. The staff is much happier and overall there hasn’t been any drama since they left. It definitely appears to have been the correct decision.
What do you feel is the single most important thing to think about when breaking up with members or coaches?
You have to do what’s best for the community and business as a whole. While it’s difficult to tell someone they have to leave, if you don’t make that choice you’ll likely wind up losing many more people.