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Negative or Bad News Messages Say yes quickly; say no slowly.

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Presentation on theme: "Negative or Bad News Messages Say yes quickly; say no slowly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Negative or Bad News Messages Say yes quickly; say no slowly.

2 Types of negative messages Request refusal News that is disappointing to reader Job changes Economic news Policy changes

3 Writing Bad-News Messages

4 The Three-Step Process Completing Audience Message Writing Planning

5 Strategies for Bad-News Messages Convey the message Gain acceptance Maintain goodwill Promote a good corporate image Minimize future correspondence

6 Audience-Centered Tone The You Attitude Positive Wording Respectful Language

7 The Indirect Approach Buffer Step 1 Buffer Step 1 Reasons Step 2 Reasons Step 2 Bad News Step 3 Bad News Step 3 Positive Close Step 4 Positive Close Step 4 Flow of the Message Substance of the Message

8 Begin With a Buffer Show appreciation Pay attention Compliment reader Be understanding Show sincerity Saying no A know-it-all tone Wordy phrases Apologies Lengthy buffers Things to DoThings to Avoid

9 Follow With Reasons Cover positive points Provide relevant details Highlight benefits Minimize company policy Avoid apologizing

10 State the Message De-emphasize the Bad News Use a Conditional Statement Focus on the Positive Avoid Blunt Language

11 Close With Confidence Remain Positive and Sincere Limit Future Correspondence Stay Confident and Optimistic

12 Cultural Differences Proper Tone CulturalConventions MessageOrganization

13 High Context Cultures Meaning conveyed through non- verbal actions and environmental setting Uses indirectness to avoid conflict Relationships must be built before business can be transacted

14 Claims and Adjustments Things to Employ Things to Avoid Accepting Blame Accusations Negative Language Defamation Courtesy and Tact Indirect Approach Understanding and Respect Positive Attitude

15 Organizational News OperationsProducts

16 Match your approach to the situation Give accurate messages to dispel rumors Give reasons and any positive points Show actions are necessary and reasonable

17 Plan the sequence of multiple announcements Tell those most affected first Minimize the element of surprise

18 Crisis Management Plan Have a notification plan Have alternate communication channels Set up a central location for information and questions

19 Letters of Recommendation Requested by Businesses Requested by Individuals PracticeDiplomacyRecognizeFeelings Be Direct State Facts

20 Employment Applications Use a Direct Approach State Reasons Clearly SuggestAlternatives

21 Performance Reviews Review Job Requirements Provide Feedback Develop a Plan of Action

22 Negative Performance Reviews Confront the problem Plan the message Respect privacy Focus on the problem Obtain commitment

23 Giving Constructive Criticism 1. Make sure the person is prepared to hear the criticism. 2. Carefully and clearly describe their behavior. 3. Use the Oreo effect whenever possible. 4. Be as specific as possible.

24 Giving Constructive Criticism 5. Restrict criticism to recent behavior. 6. Direct criticism to behavior the person can do some thing about. 7. If possible, include suggestions for improvement.

25 Express the Decision Give Specific Justification Minimize Negative Feelings TerminationLetters

26 Refusing Requests

27 Example We regret to inform you that we cannot grant your request for a donation… Your efforts to build scholarship fund…are most commendable.

28 So many requests are made of us that we have found it necessary to budget a set amount for this purpose. Our budgeted funds for this year are exhausted, so we cannot consider any more request. We will be able to consider your request next year.

29 We are always willing to assist worthy causes when we can. Each January we budget for the year the maximum amount we feel we can contribute to such causes. Since our budgeted contributions for this year have already been made, we have placed your organization on our list for consideration next year.

30 We deeply regret our inability to help you now and trust that you understand our position. We wish you the best of luck in your efforts to help educate the deserving children of the associations members.


32 Direct or Indirect? A memo to your boss informing her that one of your key clients is taking its business to a different accounting firm.

33 Direct

34 Direct or Indirect? A letter to a customer explaining that the tape backup unit he ordered for his new customer computer is on back order and that, as a consequence, shipping of the entire order will be delayed.

35 Indirect

36 Direct or Indirect A letter from a travel agent to a customer stating that the airline will not refund her money for the flight she missed but that her tickets are valid for one year.

37 Indirect

38 De-emphasize Negative The airline cant refund your money. The Conditions segment on the back of your ticket states that there are no refunds on missed flights. Sometimes the airline makes exceptions, but only when life and death are involved. Of course, your ticket is still valid and can be used on a flight to the same destination.

39 Even though unused tickets are nonrefundable, your ticket is still valid and may be used to travel to the same destination within one year from the original ticket date.

40 Use a Buffer? You have to tell a restaurant owner that your plans have changed and that you have to cancel the 90- person banquet scheduled for next month.


42 Editing Your Work First Reading – check material Sufficient examples Clear interpretation Quality sources Sound reasoning Adequate but concise coverage Purpose fulfilled

43 Second Reading – check organization Subject stated clearly Advanced in clear, logical stages Connections between stages clear Smooth transitions

44 Third Reading – mechanics Sentences are clear, correct, concise Words are specific and concrete Spelling, punctuation, typography correct and consistent

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