Who doesn’t like happy endings, right!
But all too often ‘happy’ isn’t the way they go :(
And we’re not always great at making endings as good as we could…
So how do we make good endings?
Life is full of endings, and we experience them in every kind of work, whether it’s the conclusion of a project, a colleague leaving, or putting the final full stop to a report. But for most of us they’re not everyday occurrences.
However, in the freelance world, endings are commonplace; moving in and out of projects happens swiftly, team members come and go, everything shifts constantly.
This level of freedom / insecurity comes with the territory.
And this kind of ‘gig’ economy is spreading; in a recent report, it was estimated that 40% of USA workers will be independent contractors by 2020.
So as gigging grows, endings will become increasingly frequent.
And, as a consequence…
The way we handle endings will need to change.
The experienced freelancer knows that, no matter how often they happen, endings can be troubling to handle.
Freelancers get used to them, expect them, learn how to ride the change they bring, even become somewhat detached and observe how others deal with them.
But endings can still hurt.
And even endings that are essentially positive can be followed by a sense of anti-climax, even a kind of grieving.
The trouble is, endings are often made far more difficult than they need to be…and we’re not talking about rancorous, hostile, “I’ll see you in court” type endings here – just the regular kind.
Still, people tend to be a bit rubbish at dealing with them.
And awkward, insensitive, evasive handling of these situations is not only damaging for the individuals concerned, but it never makes good business sense.
So what can you do to make more endings happy?
If you’re in a leadership position – whether that’s leading a huge corporation, or your own one-man band, there are many ways you can make endings better. Here are a couple of key ones:
When an ending’s a positive one, and you’ve reason to celebrate, take the opportunity!
Frequently endings get overlooked as we hurriedly do the evaluation, fixate on the problems that arose, rush to write up the report, and move our gaze onto the next project. Celebrating work done and acknowledging the ending isn’t frivolous; it’s a valuable, essential, integral part of a process. It’s how we wrap up, learn, relax, re-charge, and savour what we’ve achieved.
2. Be Brave
When an ending’s not so positive, and you’re in the role of terminator, be direct, communicate with empathy, be brave!
Usually there’s no good reason to fudge things. Avoiding the issue, ducking the responsibility, using euphemisms, passing the buck…these just add insult to injury.
Why create rancour? It not only causes unnecessary hurt to others, but may well come back to haunt you down the line.
We all know that endings happen,
so let’s get better at making them happier.
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