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How To Fire a Bad Employee

It’s not as easy as you think. It takes preparation, compassion, and a strategically located box of tissues.

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About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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Episode Notes

Gabe needs to fire a bad employee—but can’t quite bring himself to do it. We turn to a Stanford professor of management science, Bob Sutton (The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss) for help. First, Sutton says, Gabe has to act like a boss, not a friend. Then he should write a letter, focus on compassion, and hide the tissues.

Podcast production by Derek John.