15 May 2014

Giving Bad News: 9 Tips

Whether you’re a doctor, a mom, a business owner or a corporate leader, bad news is always hard – especially when you’re the one who has to break that bad news. But handling bad news can be less painful if you follow a few key tips, including preparing yourself, seeking support and writing down what you need to say.

Our guest blog comes from Fred Kusch, The Growth Coach of La Crosse, who shared nine great ideas and tips for how to get through breaking bad news as easily as possible for everyone involved. Fred provides expert, practical counsel to organizations and audiences around the globe. He offers big-picture views of how to build morale and teams, develop people and leaders and enhance life and work.  Fred was named Coach of the year in 2012 by The Growth Coach and you can learn more about him here: www.jfkassociates.com.

Giving Bad News

It happens every day, from negative performance reviews, to massive employee layoffs to budget cuts, bad news is almost a daily phenomenon across all industries and sectors. Unfortunately, the delivery of bad news remains one of the most difficult tasks facing leaders, moreover it is often caused by emotional reactions or undeveloped skill sets.

Sometime in your career you will be faced with delivering bad news. When you are put in this circumstance, consider these nine ideas. They may very well help you as you confront the inevitable challenges.

1. Be Prepared: Unlike a good Boy Scout, most leaders tend to stumble in this first step. Because our tendency is to avoid or to put off the task, this step is tough. However, when it has been determined that bad news must be delivered, managers have to work to compartmentalize emotions and prepare themselves with the skills needed to deliver bad news in the best and most humane manner possible.

2. Send out “smoke signals”: Like Native Americans once did, today’s bad news messengers have to provide advance warning that bad news is coming. Too often leaders give lip service to transparency and therefore when it’s really needed, they are not believed.  However, transparency and periodic updates on sensitive matters help signal the possibility of bad news. Cardinal Rule: Bad news should never come as a surprise.

Read the rest on Fred’s blog here: http://www.jfkassociates.com/2014/04/giving-bad-news/.



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