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A how-to guide to transmitting negative messages..

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Presentation on theme: "A how-to guide to transmitting negative messages.."— Presentation transcript:

1 A how-to guide to transmitting negative messages.

2 Objectives in Communicating Bad News When communicating bad news in a business environment, there are four primary goals to accomplish: 1. Acceptance: Making sure the person you are transmitting the news to accepts the negative message and understands it. 2. Maintaining a positive image: Through ethical actions, ensuring that you and your organization continue to project a good image. 3. Clarity: Making the message clear enough so no further communication is necessary. 4. Protection: Making sure that no legal responsibility can be placed on yourself or your organization.

3 Two Patterns for Delivering Bad News The direct pattern Used when: The reader could overlook the news Ex: When included in mass communications like or direct mail. A direct approach is highly suggested by company policy Ex: If all communications within a firm are expected to be direct regardless of their content. One must be firm Ex: In a final collections letter. The bad news will not be damaging to the reader Ex: A letter from a wholesaler to a store about a slight price increase. The goodwill of the reader is not important Ex: Telling abusive customers their business is no longer welcome.

4 The Direct Pattern Bad News ? Reasons ? Positive Close ?

5 Two Patterns for Delivering Bad News The indirect pattern Used when: Delivering bad news about orders or products Denying routine requests or invitations Refusing credit or adjustments Giving bad news about people Reader is likely to be emotionally involved Reader will be displeased by the bad news

6 The Indirect Pattern Buffer ? Reasons ? Bad News ? Positive Close ?

7 The Buffer 1. How to write a buffer: a) Give the best news first b) Compliment the reader c) Thank the reader for communicating and/or doing business d) Make a statement on which both you and the reader agree e) State objective facts f) Express concern to the reader g) Carefully, thoughtfully and very briefly apologize

8 The Reasons 2. Stating your reasons: a) Always give the reasons before revealing the bad news. b) Make sure that while your reasons do not make you or your organization legally liable, you give as many details as possible. c) If applicable, try to explain how someone benefits from the bad news. d) Choose positive words as much as possible. e) Last but not least, make sure the reader knows that the issue was treated seriously and fairly.

9 Bad News Delivering the bad news a) Strategically select the position the bad news occupy in your statement. Avoid the beginning and the end of any paragraph. Place the bad news between other statements. b) Use the passive voice so as to remove yourself and the reader from the interaction as much as possible. c) Place as much emphasis as possible on any positive aspects. d) If it possible, present an alternative or a compromise in your refusal or your bad news.

10 The Positive Close Closing your statement a) First, offer a positive prospect for the future. Perhaps a possibility of doing business again in the future. b) Mention alternatives and advice geared toward them. c) Avoid clichés to not sound insincere and avoid further communication.

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