Dear CC: I'm a young boss and have to do my first firing. Any advice?
Have someone else in the room with you for the deed, from HR preferably. You'll be nervous, but not nearly as nervous as the incipient victim. CC advises to get right to it. No circuitous routes, no platitudes, and, dear God, no "This is tough on me too." Come right out and say, "Tiffany, we're letting you go. Your last day is this Friday, and HR is waiting to meet you upstairs about your severance package." It's OK to go into the reasons: company restructuring, continued performance problems, ordering the olive loaf in front of a big client. But keep it basic. You don't want to talk yourself into legal troubles. CC once had to fire a guy who was public about his love of guns. CC took a few days off and bought a wig.