While sometimes management gets to deliver good news, most managers, at least at some point in their career, will find themselves the bearer of bad news, and delivering such news isn’t a pleasure for anyone. Is there a better way to approach this necessary burden of being a manager? We think so, and we’ll explain below:
Take time to understand what is being asked of you, what you have to say, who you are saying it to, as well as the impact it will have on the receiver. You want to be able to outline the details and specifics of this bad news, and if it is coming from above you or another department, make sure you understand enough to articulate the rationale behind it.
As a manager, you may not agree with every decision that is made. However, when you find yourself as the middle person in such a decision and you have to relay it to someone else, it is critical to be confident in your approach.
Bad news is called bad news for a reason. But when you sugar coat bad news, you may unintentionally be giving mixed signals. Even though the recipient is likely to be disappointed in when you have to tell them, it is always best to not mince words and leave no room for misinterpretation.
Be Ready to Explain
Offer and be willing to give employees an explanation for the bad news if they want it. The key is always to be respectful and to try and make sure that you can help explain what the next steps will be.
Sometimes those tough conversations are precisely what an employee needs to turn their work around. However, unless you are willing to follow up and follow through with your discussion, then your “talk” can potentially have an adverse effect. Check-in with the employee and follow up to ensure that everything was understood and that change on their end is happening for the better.
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