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Firing brother and manager over email/text

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Michael N

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first of all, I understand what you may be thinking. texting/emailing is probably the most passive way to goa bout this. but I assure you that I am generally a very direct person. my brother (business partner) does not know how to process emotions or take care of himself and is using the business to enable this behavior (he doesn't do anything, but claims he does everything) and our manager is an addict who also has not processed lots of emotions and is also extremely passive aggressive and emotionally reactive. the reason why I want to do it via email is to avoid 1) wasting my time trying to explain to them why they are getting fired, and 2) avoid a scene/ yelling match is a manipulative attempt to continue in their already failed attempt at smearing my name as a leader and owner. both of their personalities feed into each other in very toxic ways so it needs to be done at the same time. I don't want to do them both in a meeting because I know from past experinces its just going to get ugly. what do you think?
 

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vshetty.vs

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Sorry, disagree with you on this one.

It doesn't matter if he's your brother or just some employee you owe it to them to treat them nicely. You seem to be trying to avoid dealing with them by talking on the phone but he's your brother. You're going to see each other later and he'll remember it.

Here's what I'd recommend:
Go and talk to him nicely, explain why it's not working. Don't put the blame on them(people tend to get pretty defensive when blamed). There's a reason the "it's not you it's me" has become a cliche. It works.

Don't use the exact same lines obviously.


And if they get angry and start arguing with you. Just realize that you don't owe it to them and just say something like "too bad, it's my company and walk out.

You can't control how he would react but you do decide how you treat people
 

minivanman

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I think that hopefully, you've learned your lesson about having a partner and anyone that reads this will learn from your experience.

But, you say your brother is your partner.... legally or what? You may have a hard time firing your partner if y'all have a contract of any kind. Heck, I've never gone through this but I'd say you may have a hard time anyway. Have you spoke with your attorney?

As for email/text/what ever..... I'm never politically correct so I do it ever how I think it is the easiest for ME but normally, I tell people that I'm out and they owe me nothing and they don't have a problem with it. The bad thing for them is that it usually means they lose the website. Usually I text people when I think I will go off on them. But I personally think it's ok in order to keep a bad situation from happening.
 
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Michael N

Michael N

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I think that hopefully, you've learned your lesson about having a partner and anyone that reads this will learn from your experience.

But, you say your brother is your partner.... legally or what? You may have a hard time firing your partner if y'all have a contract of any kind. Heck, I've never gone through this but I'd say you may have a hard time anyway. Have you spoke with your attorney?

As for email/text/what ever..... I'm never politically correct so I do it ever how I think it is the easiest for ME but normally, I tell people that I'm out and they owe me nothing and they don't have a problem with it. The bad thing for them is that it usually means they lose the website. Usually I text people when I think I will go off on them. But I personally think it's ok in order to keep a bad situation from happening.
I'm a majorty shareholder of the business 51% and hes 49%
i purposefully did this because i knew this may happen. I was just in a super co-dependant head space where i wanted to make sure he was taken care of financially. so im good to go on firing him.
 
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Michael N

Michael N

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Sorry, disagree with you on this one.

It doesn't matter if he's your brother or just some employee you owe it to them to treat them nicely. You seem to be trying to avoid dealing with them by talking on the phone but he's your brother. You're going to see each other later and he'll remember it.

Here's what I'd recommend:
Go and talk to him nicely, explain why it's not working. Don't put the blame on them(people tend to get pretty defensive when blamed). There's a reason the "it's not you it's me" has become a cliche. It works.

Don't use the exact same lines obviously.


And if they get angry and start arguing with you. Just realize that you don't owe it to them and just say something like "too bad, it's my company and walks out.

You can't control how he would react but you do decide how you treat people
I've tried talking to him multiple times and its always just him yelling, projecting his mistakes, and deflecting blame, so I can imagine that either way I go,it'ss going to go bad, i just think it may be wise to avoid the collatoral of two guys freking out in the middle of a buisness
 

vshetty.vs

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After reading the other posts I realise that I spoke a bit too hastily. I simply pointed out how I would have handled it.

I have always believed that no matter the situation you always do the right thing.

But Honestly, your situation is unique to you and I don't know enough about it to provide this kind of advice.

Sorry for not be any more help
 

SparksCW

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I would suggest firing the manager first. Deal with one thing at a time. If your brother and the manager are bouncing off each other than removing one of them might improve the situation enough for it to be handled better.

Sometime tells me he won’t take too well to being “sacked” and if he owns 49% then the last thing you want is to do all the work for half the profit.
 
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Michael N

Michael N

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I would suggest firing the manager first. Deal with one thing at a time. If your brother and the manager are bouncing off each other than removing one of them might improve the situation enough for it to be handled better.

Sometime tells me he won’t take too well to being “sacked” and if he owns 49% then the last thing you want is to do all the work for half the profit.
the thing is, I've already been doing that. and I've had multiple conversations about both of their mental health and they've done nothing. as for my brother, his behaviors have been historically self-destructive. when i say that this is my last choice i mean it. ive been trying to do everything i can for 2 years now
 

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Kak

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If you do everything... What is stopping you from starting your own firm?

Also... Firing someone over text or email is really wimpy. Take hold and lead.
 
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Real Deal Denver

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If you do everything... What is stopping you from starting your own firm?

Also... Firing someone over text or email is really wimpy. Take hold and lead.
^^^ This. This is great advice at the "core" of great advice.

If you DON'T take hold and lead, it will be something that will make you look weak, and I assure you that you will regret it the rest of your life.

NEVER allow someone to control you so that your actions change to fit what they desire. Be nice - but be your own man in everything that you do.
 

Youss

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Firing someone is probably one of the biggest challenges you can face when you're an owner or a manager, unless you're a total sociopath it's very challenging emotionally. I go with @Kak here and suggest you act as a brave man and I can see 2 good reasons:

1. Climb that hill, it will make you a better entrepreneur and a better man. In the OP you say you don't want to waste your time, well I don't really buy that. I guess you're more likely afraid of having to be in those two difficult confrontations, which is really fine.
2. If your business has employees, you will build more trust and respect on your name if you show to them you're the man who stands out even in tough situations. If you fire your bro and your manager by text/email, they will know it sooner or later and they will think "well I shouldn't expect more when my turn comes ".
 

minivanman

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I guess I'm a sociopath lol. I've fired family, friends, current (at the time) girlfriends and people I barely knew. Hell, I've even fired myself a few times. None were emotionally challenging, the only thing that was challenging was that we had less people working. I once fired someone that was so high up the chain that he was making almost as much as I was and it wasn't emotional. Funny thing, he still texts me a few times a year.
 
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Michael N

Michael N

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I guess I'm a sociopath lol. I've fired family, friends, current (at the time) girlfriends and people I barely knew. Hell, I've even fired myself a few times. None were emotionally challenging, the only thing that was challenging was that we had less people working. I once fired someone that was so high up the chain that he was making almost as much as I was and it wasn't emotional. Funny thing, he still texts me a few times a year.
yeah, I agree,
guess I just gotta deal with their reaction. I'm prepared for the shit talking and what not, I just didn't want to compromise the space. but I don't think there is anything stopping that.
thank you, guys.
 

404profound

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I've never been in your position, but I know someone who has.

They handled it VERY directly. Scheduled a meeting 1-1 with the person being terminated. Presented that they are being terminated citing x, y, z rationale. Any rebuttals are dismissed, it's a done deal. Doing it over text is very unprofessional / a sure-fire was to piss them off even more. People develop emotional attachments to a business just as they would a significant other. We know what happens when someone tries to dump the other over text...
 

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I've never been in your position, but I know someone who has.

They handled it VERY directly. Scheduled a meeting 1-1 with the person being terminated. Presented that they are being terminated citing x, y, z rationale. Any rebuttals are dismissed, it's a done deal. Doing it over text is very unprofessional / a sure-fire was to piss them off even more. People develop emotional attachments to a business just as they would a significant other. We know what happens when someone tries to dump the other over text...

This. You have to do this in person, face to face. Do it quickly, the longer you put it off, the more you will second guess it, setting yourself up to get mowed over in the conversation.

Tip - whenever I’m dealing with a contentious employee that wants to dominate the conversation, I simply say stop. Very firmly, it surprises them most times and you can regain control. If it they go uncontrollably south, cut it off and walk away, with your decision clearly stated.

You don’t owe them a huge explanation, argument or negotiation, people already know what is wrong when it gets this far. This is simply confirming a non-negotiable decision and moving on. The shorter the conversation, the better.

No matter how this goes down, the main thing is that it ends with them being separated from the business. That is king, do not cave.
 
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loop101

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Shut down the company, start a new one, keep 100% ownership. Never give up a single share.

“To become rich you must be an owner. And you must try to own it all. You must strive with every fiber of your being, while recognizing the idiocy of your behavior, to own and retain control of as near to 100 per cent of any company as you can. If that is not possible, in a public company, for example, then you must be prepared to make yourself hated by those around you who are also trying to be rich. That is the dirty, rotten little secret of it all, my friend.”
― Felix Dennis, How to Get Rich
 

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Rabby

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Buy his share is one way. Another is to split the company. I recommend getting professional help either way, to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's crossed. If you split, give him his share plus the juiced manager, and let them sail away. Split the accounts if you need to, and rebuild. You'll be in competition with your brother and former manager for a while, but from the sound of it not for long.
 

Zcott

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And how will you respond when these emotionally charged people see their email and flip out in front of everyone else?
 

lejus

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I'm a majorty shareholder of the business 51% and hes 49%
i purposefully did this because i knew this may happen. I was just in a super co-dependant head space where i wanted to make sure he was taken care of financially. so im good to go on firing him.
Dude I think I have a bigger issue than you think here. To clarify first I've never been in your situation, the only time I had to fire someone, I decided to give this person a chance till the exact date and she quit before that. However, since I was tolerating bad conduct in my company for too long overthinking firing here, the relationship was damaged, again with a friend, I let go of that very quickly, especially since she did some things that damaged company reputation, her reputation, and our image but can you afford to damage connection to your brother? You mention his emotional and mental health issue, dude, he is your brother, you didn't new that before you gave him 49% of the company? You admit you were in a co-dependent state of mind, so you took your brother with all those issues and now it's time to get rid of him when you have your confidence back after leading the company? Don't get me wrong I don't judge we do what we have to do, I don't even say don't fire him, if he is affecting your business, life and mental health, by all means, fire him. Just keep in mind it's not 100% of your brother fault, you needed him and you gave him 49% of company that is at least 49% of your fault in my eyes, possibly his recent behavior is 100% him but the root of this is at least 49% yours, possibly more. But whatever you do, do it quick, stop dragging it, do it as painless as possible for him and keep in mind, even if you do your best you might not be on good basis after this.

I've tried talking to him multiple times and its always just him yelling, projecting his mistakes, and deflecting blame, so I can imagine that either way I go,it'ss going to go bad, i just think it may be wise to avoid the collatoral of two guys freking out in the middle of a buisness
What exactly do you expect him to do? I mean imagine it's you, your brother needed your help, or even imagine he needed it, he gave you 49% of the company, then he leads it and got it to point where it is and now he is firing you. And it is your fault you underperformed and had issues but he knew about it but still when he needed you, you were there! Now he wants to rub your underperformance and emotions in your face, while you were there when he needed you, did he rub your co-dependence in your face? What is the way to cause the least damage and save your business here and your relationship? I doubt there is an ideal solution but damn you owe him to make it the least painful and if you want to ever talk to your brother again, the nicest way possible. Is e-mail that way? I doubt it but maybe. Either way take it like a man do it quickly and even if it's your brother fault make it look like it's yours, because it is, you gave him 49%, you needed him and now you are firing him, no matter what he did those are your decision and you will get benefits from them while he will get punch in the balls. What I would do I would either try explaining I want to go on my own and buy the company back, or set up new one, or fire him but I don't know what to tell him when firing him, I don't think there is a good solution here, there are only bad and less bad solutions. Either way dude, keep i mind your family might have split opinions on this and fire that manager first maybe your brother will wake up. I don't know man it's one mess up situation if you ask me.
 

Real Deal Denver

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Dude I think I have a bigger issue than you think here. To clarify first I've never been in your situation, the only time I had to fire someone, I decided to give this person a chance till the exact date and she quit before that. However, since I was tolerating bad conduct in my company for too long overthinking firing here, the relationship was damaged, again with a friend, I let go of that very quickly, especially since she did some things that damaged company reputation, her reputation, and our image but can you afford to damage connection to your brother? You mention his emotional and mental health issue, dude, he is your brother, you didn't new that before you gave him 49% of the company? You admit you were in a co-dependent state of mind, so you took your brother with all those issues and now it's time to get rid of him when you have your confidence back after leading the company? Don't get me wrong I don't judge we do what we have to do, I don't even say don't fire him, if he is affecting your business, life and mental health, by all means, fire him. Just keep in mind it's not 100% of your brother fault, you needed him and you gave him 49% of company that is at least 49% of your fault in my eyes, possibly his recent behavior is 100% him but the root of this is at least 49% yours, possibly more. But whatever you do, do it quick, stop dragging it, do it as painless as possible for him and keep in mind, even if you do your best you might not be on good basis after this.



What exactly do you expect him to do? I mean imagine it's you, your brother needed your help, or even imagine he needed it, he gave you 49% of the company, then he leads it and got it to point where it is and now he is firing you. And it is your fault you underperformed and had issues but he knew about it but still when he needed you, you were there! Now he wants to rub your underperformance and emotions in your face, while you were there when he needed you, did he rub your co-dependence in your face? What is the way to cause the least damage and save your business here and your relationship? I doubt there is an ideal solution but damn you owe him to make it the least painful and if you want to ever talk to your brother again, the nicest way possible. Is e-mail that way? I doubt it but maybe. Either way take it like a man do it quickly and even if it's your brother fault make it look like it's yours, because it is, you gave him 49%, you needed him and now you are firing him, no matter what he did those are your decision and you will get benefits from them while he will get punch in the balls. What I would do I would either try explaining I want to go on my own and buy the company back, or set up new one, or fire him but I don't know what to tell him when firing him, I don't think there is a good solution here, there are only bad and less bad solutions. Either way dude, keep i mind your family might have split opinions on this and fire that manager first maybe your brother will wake up. I don't know man it's one mess up situation if you ask me.
You, my friend, are a very compassionate and wise person. You added insight here that was new and refreshing.

My preformed opinions prevented me from thinking about this as deeply as you have. I have learned a valuable lesson from you today.

Thank you for a superb post!
 

DustinH

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Just thinking of some effective "firing" language I wanted to share:

"I am not able to position you into a role at this company for you to be successful so I need to let you go."
"This is not a good fit for you or the company so I need to set you free."
"We cannot provide the necessary training for you to be successful here..."
"I have failed to correctly analyze how you fit into this organization and we must part ways..."
"You have a marketable skill set is best used in another role with a different company..."
"After careful evaluation I have decided that we cannot provide you the position in this company that matches your talents and skill set..."

I like the idea of not placing blame on the employee (if it's a surprise for them). Making it as objective as possible. Focusing on how it's the wrong "fit" for both the employee and company.

This is an awkward conversation but I think it is helpful for business owners. Anybody else have good language to keep things cordial, direct, and respectful?
 

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Well, how’s it going?

@lejus put excellent perspective on it.

As Kevin O’leary would say, “You have a decision to make. What’s it going to be?”
 

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