Daina Middleton: How to Do Layoffs with Humanity, Inclusion, and Compassion

Leaders are being asked to be more emotionally aware and embrace emotions at work. But how to do that in ways that are appropriate and comfortable for everyone? Gone are the days when we separated work and life and we now realize that we can’t bring our whole selves to work without acknowledging our humanity. That can mean messy, uncomfortable emotions – and if you as a leader have not shored up your own emotional awareness, you may struggle. Nowhere is this more deeply felt than when having to conduct layoffs.

Today, my guest, Daina Middleton, discusses how you can get comfortable embracing emotions at work and building rapport – yes, even if you’re an introvert.  Daina shares her own C-suite story about her journey of learning to be aware of and embrace her own emotions to create more success at work and better relationships at home. Daina offers powerful and timely tips on approaching layoffs with empathy and intention, and ensuring you don’t ignore those left behind. We talk about why last-hired/first-fired thinking can destroy your DEI progress and designing severance packages that are more inclusive and compassionate.

To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at www.TheEmpathyEdge.com

Key Takeaways:

We are all human. We all have emotions and feelings. At the end of the day, if you want to enhance productivity, you need to make sure people can bring their whole selves to work. Listening is the most important thing you can do. Let the blank space be blank space, you do not need to fill it with your own story. Know when empathy and information should come from the leadership team, not just HR, legal, or middle management.

“If you truly want to propel and move the organization forward, you need to allow people to go through the grieving steps.” —  Daina Middleton

References Mentioned:

The Empathy Edge Podcast: Lisen Stromberg: What Modern Leaders and Cultures Need to Succeed in the 21st CenturyHarvard Business Review, “Don’t Let Layoffs Undermine Your DEI Efforts”Daina’s book: Grace Meets Grit: How to Bring Out the Remarkable, Courageous Leader WithinA great article on Prismwork’s site on human-centered layoffs.About Daina Middleton, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Prismwork

Daina Middleton is a former CEO and CMO, and current board member and advisor, strategy consultant, and growth architect with expertise in growing technology and services organizations. She has successfully grown and exited several marketing services businesses. Her success is fueled by focusing on creating market categories, driving thought leadership through partnerships and experiences, cultivating company culture, and executing operational excellence. Believing culture is the competitive advantage, Daina is currently creating culture transformations, inclusive leadership, and company purpose-driven strategies for businesses that wish to create better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Connect with Daina Middleton

Prismwork: http://www.prismwork.com

Website: https://dainamiddleton.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dainamiddleton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dainamiddleton

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