Delivering Bad News

Delivering Bad News

Many of us in the industry believe that the best way to deliver bad news to coworkers and employees is to remain objective, smile and try to remain positive throughout the entire conversation. However, this is not always the case.

There are a few different ways to approach situations in which you have to deliver bad news. You could start the conversation by preparing the person to receive bad news. You could begin conversations by starting with a warning sign that something is not good. A cautionary phrase such as “there’s no easy way to say this,” or “I don’t know how you’ll react to this news,” could inform the employee that they are not being considered for the open position at your company. By using one of these phrases, it will demonstrate that you care enough about them to warn them that bad news is coming.

Rather than delivering the news with a smile on your face, deliver the bad news somberly. Then, allow the person to react to the news naturally. Do not try to take away their right to be upset or try to diminish their grief. By letting them react, you allow them to get out their negative emotions. During this time, you can show empathy by using phrases such as “I know this is sad for you,” or “We can continue this conversation when you are ready again.

When you have just told someone that they are being passed over for a promotion or that they are not being chosen for a position at your company, it is not the time to overbear them with explanations. Upon hearing bad news, people are not in the mood to listen. Allow them some time to react and then come back to the conversation.

No one likes delivering bad news. However, no one likes to hear bad news either. However, with bad news comes the opportunity to learn and grow. When delivered correctly, bad news can set someone on the right path. For instance, if they aren’t chosen for a position at your company, they can learn from their interview mistakes and make changes in the future.
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