It’s going to happen. Not everyone who starts with you is going to finish with you. If we lead long enough, we are going to have a key team member approach us to let us know they are probably going to leave. My temptation earlier on my leadership was to try to talk them into staying. This will be your temptation, as well. Don’t give into the temptation! Here are:
Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Talk Them Out of Leaving:
You will not be able to talk them out it.
First of all, my experience has been that if they get leaving on their mind, you will not be able to talk them out of it. Sure, you might even be able to talk them out of it in the short run, but they usually leave anyway, just at a later time. Think about it: Do you really want someone there who doesn’t have all of their heart in it? Let them go!
Tension will increase between now and then.
In the meantime, tensions usually increase between the time you talk them into staying, and the time they leave at a later time! Think about it: why were they considering leaving in the first place? They are discontent being here. Thy are probably struggling with one or more elements of your leadership. Every time I was actually able to delay the inevitable by talking a team member into staying a while longer, tension had always increased between the time they left! My experience has been that, we have a greater tendency to like each other after your departure if it happens sooner rather than later, after you have allowed your mind to go there. Let them go!
I could get in God’s way.
If a team member has approached you about their struggles in staying, think about what it took for them to schedule that conversation with you as their leader. No doubt they have wrestled with the decision and the impending conversation for weeks if not months, maybe years! They have prayed about this...alot! When we try to talk a struggling team member into staying, we could be getting in God’s way! We need to trust God to speak to our team members. We need to hold them loosely and realize they do not belong to us, they belong to God! We need to give our team members permission publicly to allow God to speak to them. If ever they feel like God could be tapping them on the shoulder and tugging them in a different direction, we should give them permission to talk to us about it! Then, we need to speak into their decision, challenge their assumptions, but also bless them and release them to god’s care and thank God for the time we enjoyed together! Let them go!