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Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 10 Negative Messages.

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Presentation on theme: "Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 10 Negative Messages."— Presentation transcript:

1 Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 10 Negative Messages

2 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 2 Negative Messages The Indirect Pattern Delivering Bad News Sensitively Avoiding Legal Problems Damage Control with Customers Communicating Bad News: Goals The 3-x-3 Writing Process

3 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 3 © Tom Grill / Corbis Primary Goals Make the receiver understand and accept the bad news Maintain a positive image of you and your organization Goals in Communicating Bad News

4 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 4 © Tom Grill / Corbis Secondary Goals Reduce bad feelings Convey fairness Eliminate future correspondence Avoid creating legal liability or responsibility for you or your organization. Goals in Communicating Bad News

5 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 5 The Indirect Pattern A neutral or positive opening that does not reveal the bad newsBuffer An explanation of the causes for the bad newsReasons A clear but understated announcement of the bad news; may include alternative or compromise Bad News A neutral or positive opening that does not reveal the bad newsClosing

6 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 6 Analyze the bad news. Anticipate the effect of the bad news on the receiver. If the bad news is serious, use techniques to reduce the pain. If the bad news is minor, announce it directly. Applying the Writing Process Prewriting Analyze Anticipate Adapt

7 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 7 Applying the Writing Process Gather information and brainstorm for ideas. Jot down all reasons you have to explain the bad news. List your strongest reasons first. Outline the indirect pattern. Writing Research Organize Compose

8 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 8 Put yourself in the receivers shoes. Is the message too blunt? Too subtle? Is it clear? Proofread for format, punctuation, and correctness. Revising Edit Proofread Evaluate Applying the Writing Process

9 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 9 Avoiding Three Causes of Legal Problems Abusive language Language that harms a persons reputation Defamation Libel Slander Written defamation Spoken defamation

10 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 10 Avoiding Three Causes of Legal Problems Careless language Statements that are potentially damaging or that could be misinterpreted Example: The factory is too hazardous for tour groups.

11 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 11 Avoiding Three Causes of Legal Problems Dangerous statements that ease your conscience or make you look good (I thought you were an excellent candidate, but we had to hire…). As an agent of the organization, express only views of the organization. The good-guy syndrome

12 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 12 Avoiding Three Causes of Legal Problems Use plain paper for your personal views or business. Avoid supplying information that could be misused. Dont admit or imply responsibility without checking with legal counsel.

13 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 13 Cautious explanation Reader or other benefits Company policy explanation Positive words Evidence that matter was considered fairly and seriously Four-Part Strategy for Delivering Bad News BufferReasons Best news Compliment Appreciation Agreement Facts Understanding Apology

14 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 14 Forward look Information about alternative Good wishes Freebies Resale Sales Promotion Four-Part Strategy for Delivering Bad News Bad NewsClosing Embedded placement Passive voice Implied refusal Compromise Alternative

15 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 15 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Buffering the Opening Start with the part of the message that represents the best news. Pay a compliment, show appreciation for a past action, or refer to something mutually understood.

16 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 16 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Avoid raising false hopes or thanking the receiver for something you are about to refuse. Consider apologizing if you or your company erred. If you apologize, do so sincerely and take responsibility. Buffering the Opening

17 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 17 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Presenting the Reasons Explain clearly why the request must be denied, without revealing the refusal. Show how your decision benefits the receiver or others, if possible.

18 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 18 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Explain company policy without using it as an excuse. Choose positive words. Avoid negative words such as cannot, claim, denied, error, failure, unwitting. Show that the matter was treated seriously and fairly. Presenting the Reasons

19 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 19 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Cushioning the Bad News Consider positioning the bad news strategically by sandwiching it between other sentences. Consider subordinating the bad news (although we cant loan our equipment, we wish you well in…) Consider using the passive voice (although our equipment cant be loaned…).

20 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 20 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Accentuate the positive by describing what you can do, not what you cant do. Consider implying the refusal, but be sure it is clear. Suggest a compromise or an alternative, if available. Cushioning the Bad News

21 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 21 Techniques for Delivering Bad News Sensitively Closing Pleasantly Look forward to future relations. Supply more information about an alternative, if you have presented one. Offer good wishes, compliments, or freebies (coupons, samples, gifts). Avoid referring to the refusal. Use resale or sales promotion if appropriate.

22 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 22 1.Call the individual involved. 2.Describe the problem and apologize. 3.Explain a.Why the problem occurred b.What you are doing to resolve it c.How you will prevent it from happening again. 4.Follow up with a letter that documents the phone call and promotes goodwill. Damage Control: Dealing With Disappointed Customers

23 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 23 BeforeIneffective Customer Request Refusal Dear Ms. Trumbo: We regret to inform you that we cannot allow you to convert the lease payments you have been making on your Canon X1000 color copier toward its purchase, much as we would love to. We understand that you have been making regular payments for the past 16 months. Our established company policy prohibits such conversion of leasing monies. Perhaps you have noticed that we offer extremely low leasing and purchase prices. Obviously, these low prices would never be possible if we agreed to many proposals such as yours. Because we are striving to stay in business, we cannot agree to your request asking us to apply all 16 months of rental payments toward the purchase of our popular new equipment. It is our understanding, Ms. Trumbo, that you have had the Canon X1000 color copier for 16 months, and you claim that it has been reliable and versatile. We would like to tell you about another Canon modelone that is perhaps closer to your limited budget. Sincerely, Dear Ms. Trumbo: We regret to inform you that we cannot allow you to convert the lease payments you have been making on your Canon X1000 color copier toward its purchase, much as we would love to. We understand that you have been making regular payments for the past 16 months. Our established company policy prohibits such conversion of leasing monies. Perhaps you have noticed that we offer extremely low leasing and purchase prices. Obviously, these low prices would never be possible if we agreed to many proposals such as yours. Because we are striving to stay in business, we cannot agree to your request asking us to apply all 16 months of rental payments toward the purchase of our popular new equipment. It is our understanding, Ms. Trumbo, that you have had the Canon X1000 color copier for 16 months, and you claim that it has been reliable and versatile. We would like to tell you about another Canon modelone that is perhaps closer to your limited budget. Sincerely,

24 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 24 Critical Thinking Questions 1.What is the purpose of the letter? What goals should the sender have? 2.What prevents this letter from achieving those goals? 3.What pattern of development would work best for this letter? Has it been followed?

25 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 25 Critical Thinking Questions 4.What idea could be used as a buffer to open an improved version of this letter? Write a buffer. 5.How could the bad news be subordinated? Write a statement that subordinates the bad news. 6.What friendly news could be used in the closing? Write a closing statement.

26 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 26 AfterImproved Refusal of Request Dear Ms. Trumbo: Were happy to learn that you are enjoying the use of the Canon X1000 color copier youve been leasing for the past 16 months. Like our many other customers, Ms. Trumbo, you have discovered that Canon copiers supply remarkable versatility and reliability. One of the reasons were able to offer these outstanding copiers at such low leasing rates and equally low purchase prices is that we maintain a slim profit margin. If our program included a provision for applying lease payments toward purchase prices, our overall prices would have to be higher. Although lease payments cannot be credited toward purchase price, we can offer you other Canon models that are within your price range. The Canon 600 delivers the same reliability with nearly as many features as the top-of-the- line Canon X1000. Please let us demonstrate the Canon 600 to your staff in your office, Ms. Trumbo. Our representative, Seth Simmons, will call you during the week of May 5 to arrange an appointment. Sincerely, Dear Ms. Trumbo: Were happy to learn that you are enjoying the use of the Canon X1000 color copier youve been leasing for the past 16 months. Like our many other customers, Ms. Trumbo, you have discovered that Canon copiers supply remarkable versatility and reliability. One of the reasons were able to offer these outstanding copiers at such low leasing rates and equally low purchase prices is that we maintain a slim profit margin. If our program included a provision for applying lease payments toward purchase prices, our overall prices would have to be higher. Although lease payments cannot be credited toward purchase price, we can offer you other Canon models that are within your price range. The Canon 600 delivers the same reliability with nearly as many features as the top-of-the- line Canon X1000. Please let us demonstrate the Canon 600 to your staff in your office, Ms. Trumbo. Our representative, Seth Simmons, will call you during the week of May 5 to arrange an appointment. Sincerely,

27 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 27 Buffer Provide some good news (if possible), praise, appreciation, agreement, or understanding. Discuss facts leading to the reasons section. Managing Negative Organization News

28 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 28 Explain what caused the decision necessitating the bad news. Use objective, nonjudgmental, and nondiscriminatory language. Show empathy and fairness. Reasons Managing Negative Organization News

29 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 29 Explain the bad news clearly, but dont accentuate it. Avoid negative language. Bad News Managing Negative Organization News

30 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 30 End on a positive, friendly note. For job refusals, extend good wishes. Closing Managing Negative Organization News

31 End Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 10, Slide 31


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