Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43
negotiations rumble on and it continues to pose issues for participants in the
resignation of the UK ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers has unsurprisingly
entrenched remains and leavers in their view of the effectiveness of the
government's approach to exiting the EU.
I do not know the ins
and outs of the justification for his resigning- what I can say is that like
many people in a work situation, he does not have the best idea how
to resign in a satisfactory way.
Where do you start
with the flaws of his resignation?
- Sir Ivan resigned on holiday.
- He did not communicate it in person to his boss.
(the pm and her close team found out via the press)
- It was done via a lengthy
1400 word email to his staff - again not in person - were his subordinates entitled
to his respect?
- Despite the numerous words it was unclear why he resigned ( I saw Channel 4 TV presenter Jon Snow saying you could read between the lines
why he resigned), Sir Ivan relied on friends on tv channels to elaborate why he really
- It was hypocritical in that it criticised government muddled thinking
yet the resignation email itself was muddled in that it did not communicate
with clarity why he resigned.
- It could be construed to invite
disloyalty from civil servants to the politicians
in that he publicly
criticised his employer - Remember who is paying your wages.
From the point of
view of the writer it was a failure as a tool of communication as its main
effective purpose was to give his employer justification for letting him go.
Now it may be that
Sir Ivan was put under the severest provocation particularly that it seems that
he was being briefed against by members of Number 10/ government ministers/sharks, but
why stoop to a comparable level?
If you are looking
for a model way to resign from a difficult position where the reality is you
are totally fed up with your employer/club/organisation then look no further
than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's letter
to the Daughters of the American Revolution, via this letter to the president of the organisation, for barring Marian Anderson, African American opera singer, from singing at Constitution Hall.
The letter has the following attributes:
1 It is succinct.
Less than 110 words and focuses on what it has to do. Sets out why the First Lady has
2 It is clear. You
are left in no doubt why the person has resigned.
3 It is humble. The
writer does not rely on her status in any implied form. No sense of self
4 It has integrity.
Everyone knows where they stand. No behind the back briefings. It is direct.
5 lt conveys Ms
Roosevelt's character in a good way. You read it and you like the author more.
Generally in any form of communication, less is more.