Home » ExchangeEveryDay » How to Deliver Bad News

ExchangeEveryDay Past Issues

<< Previous Issue | Browse by Title | | Next Issue >> ExchangeEveryDay
How to Deliver Bad News
February 15, 2012

Asking for help does not mean we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.
-Anne Wilson Schaef

Delivering bad news to a group is likely to "cause anxiety, result in at least a temporary drop in productivity, and prompt some of your valued employees to look for work elsewhere," reports Kevin Daley in Harvard Business Review OnPoint (Fall 2010).  He offers a 4-part plan for minimizing the damage:

1.  Do it as soon as possible.  Bad news travels faster than a space shuttle.  Until an official announcement is made, there will be wild speculation by your employees.

2.  Speak candidly.  Tell employees everything that can be told.  If you don't yet know the full extent of the impending change, say so....  Be compassionate, but don't apologize for your bad news or talk at length about how bad you feel.

3.  Give them the big picture.  Begin the presentation by giving context — but do it quickly... Assure employees that management has a strategy for overcoming hard times and ask for their support. Without misrepresenting the situation, be optimistic.

4.  Plan for questions.  An otherwise excellent presentation can be undermined with an awkward handling of the Q&A.  Anticipate the questions you're likely to be asked and be ready for them with concise and credible answers.

Facing the Challenge DVDs

Facing the Challenge is an instructional, interactive DVD set for teachers working with young children with challenging behaviors. The program includes over two hours of training and documentary video designed to help teachers learn how to prevent children’s use of difficult behaviors and how to develop intervention strategies to work with children who use challenging behaviors to meet their needs.


Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.


What is ExchangeEveryDay?

ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press, Inc. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

EZ-CARE2 provides information & fee management, schedule & attendance, center door security, accounting, and more.  Manage your center better, faster, and easier!

Post a Comment

Fields marked with a * are required. Log In and you won't have to fill in name and address info.

Your e-mail address will not be visible to other website visitors.

Disclaimer: Exchange reserves the right to remove any comments at it's discretion or reprint posted comments in it's marketing materials.