taboos-around-talking-about-leaving

REF: https://marcusblankenship.com/on-sex-drugs-and-turnover

When my kids were in elementary school, I didn’t talk openly about sex or drugs.

See, I was afraid if I talked about it, then they’d do it.

So I just pretended that sex and drugs didn’t exist.

Which taught my kids to pretend the same thing, at least in front of me.

When I was a manager, I felt the same way about people leaving.

I was afraid if I talked about it, then they’d do it.

Instead, I pretended that people who worked for me would never leave.

Which taught my team to pretend the same thing, at least in front of me.

Looking back, this wasn’t a helpful way to prepare my kids for adult life.

Instead of open communication, it created secrecy around those topics.

Which meant they didn’t learn about them from me, but from their friends – or the internet.

And pretending my employees would never leave wasn’t a helpful way to prepare them for their next role.

Instead of open communication, it created a culture of secrecy around those topics.

Which meant they didn’t learn about them from me, but from their friends – or the internet.

Instead, open up a new conversation.

You might say things like…

  • On a scale of 0% to 100%, what’s the chance you’ll be with the team/company at the end of 2020?

  • I realize there’s no chance you’ll retire from here – so how can I help prepare you for your next role?

  • What other jobs in the company would you like to try while you’re here?

  • I don’t plan on retiring from this company, but am hear to learn and grow into my next role. How about you?

  • What do we need to do to prepare for the fact you won’t be here forever?

  • What do we need to do to prepare for the fact that I won’t be here forever, either?

Talking about it won’t cause it, I promise.

And, I suspect, it will make sure everyone is better prepared for the future.

Stay curious, Marcus