Dialogue — Going private with bad news

NOTE: This post leverages material from a TechRepublic article (here).

Of course, be prepared to have the “bad news” conversation with facts, figures, etc.  Use the following tips to be honest… tactfully!

Never simply say “Never” or “Can’t”

  • Gut reactions are not accepted without evidence
  • Some bosses then set out to prove that it can be done
  • Investigate all of the angles, present the information, THEN make the decision

Don’t point fingers — YES: We have a problem, NO: These guys screwed up

Do NOT go around your manager — If you have to escalate beyond him/her, say so!

Maintain Emotional Balance — Understand your reasons for the meeting; if you are upset, anxious, etc., talk to a surrogate first!

Use non-threatening questions to raise difficult issues — YES: “What are the implications if we do/don’t do X?”; NO: “Won’t senior management want us to do X?”

Navigating office politics — Slow down…Stay positive…Know when to fold ‘em, one can’t always win!

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