Being the bearer of bad news is a tough task!
It’s difficult for the person on the receiving end but also for the person
delivering the news. Here’s how to do it right.
- Your main aim should be to keep your employees motivated. The
company’s best interest should always be your prime purpose, but
you still have to be fair. This means you should respect your audience
as well as their interests and needs.
- Deliver your bad news
quickly and openly when you know it has to be said. Especially when
rumors have already been spreading throughout the company, an open
statement has the same effect as a thunderstorm after a hot and sultry
- There is no point in beating about the bush. On the
contrary, it only makes things worse. So go straight to the point
(within the first five sentences).
- Start by stating the facts and then let the person ask questions.
- Be sensitive and show empathy. Try to imagine how you would like to receive such news.
- If you are responsible for bad news, take ownership of it. Don’t try to find excuses and justify yourself.
- Whatever you do, don’t blame someone else even if there is no doubt about who made the mistake.
- Don’t try any tricks. The persons concerned aren’t stupid. They are highly sensitive.
- Choose your words carefully. It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it!
- Show you care, but only if they are your true feelings.