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3 Phrases Bosses Use When They Want to Fire You

3 Phrases Bosses Use When They Want to Fire You

Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.
Written by: Courtney Connley, CNBC Make It

“Getting fired” may conjure dramatic scenes of tears, shouting and phones being slammed down. But most real-life terminations look nothing like the ones on TV.

There’s rarely boardroom drama or a public display. And there’s never tense music. Nope, in real life, a job termination tends to be a rather quiet affair. In fact, sometimes the warning signs are so subtle that many people don’t even realize they’re in imminent danger. But if you pay attention, and listen closely, you can often see the writing on the wall.

If your manager uses one of the following three phrases, you might be on the receiving end of a job termination:

Being asked to put something in writing could be a red flag that your boss is gathering all of the materials they need to justify firing you. The minute a boss asks you to document anything, they are stuffing your folder to facilitate your termination process.

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If the presence of a human resources representative is ever requested to deal with a situation, you should be “very afraid” about your standing within the company. The minute you have trained professionals in the middle of conversations with your boss or colleagues, think ‘divorce attorney.’ Understand that HR is in the room to start the negotiation towards a ‘conscious uncoupling.’

Companies today are looking for more than just talented workers who can get the job done. They’re also looking for employees who can mesh well with an organization’s mission, culture and values. That’s why any conversation you have about your fit within a company should be treated as a warning sign that your boss may not like you.

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In fact, “lack of fit” could be another way of saying, “you’re causing too much friction here,” or more plainly, “people just don’t like working with you.” A lot of managers use ‘lack of fit’ as the magical potion for dismissal, since it can’t really be disputed,” she says. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, and if that beholder is your boss, you’re out of luck.

If it sounds like I’m encouraging you to be paranoid about your job, well, in the words of Intel founder and former CEO Andy Grove: “Only the paranoid survive.” The truth is job terminations in real life aren’t the same as on TV. It’s quieter. You have to listen for it.

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator, and public speaker. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the lives of its students by providing them with the tools to become better leaders, build great teams, and help their organizations win.

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