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Sending bad breaking news

If you’re telling your boss that you’ve been sacked from a lucrative job or telling the world about the passing of a colleague you’re bound to feel nervous and worried.

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However, being able to convey bad news effectively can make you stand out as someone who is honest and brave in the most difficult of situations. You could be perceived as someone who has made an already difficult situation a whole more difficult. While it’s not simple to convey bad information, there are steps you can put in place to ensure that you communicate the message in a responsible manner, with care and in a clear manner.

Emotional intelligence is an essential aspect to managers during this instance as well as empathy and a capacity to remain attentive to everyone who are affected by the incident. A clear, well-planned communication and well-prepared, will put you in excellent position in the following days and weeks. It is also important to remember that it’s not just those in the at the heart of the news that are affected, there are a lot of friends, family members and colleagues may be feeling the effect.

At the beginning from the beginning, it’s important to realize that bad news can come in a variety of forms. It’s the same thing to inform your boss that you haven’t met your goals and different to inform a group of employees that a member is suffering from a fatal disease. No matter what the situation it is our best to anticipate how the announcement will be received however, we do not always know how people are likely to react.

Here are five easy steps to guide you in preparing:

  • Do not say ‘I understand what you’re feeling’ or (even more egregiously) “this is harder for me than for you”!

We don’t have any idea of how other people are feeling or how they’ll react – it’s an awful mistake to make assumptions about responses.

  • Be conscious of your current mental state and recognize how the news can affect you personally. For instance, if you are required to inform your team members about the passing of a loved and respected friend, you must be able to come to an understanding of your own thoughts prior to your meeting. Speak to your family or a trusted friend or mentor prior to the meeting, to ensure that you’re grounded in your own self. It is possible to acknowledge your personal feelings to the people around you and if you’ve had a moment to think about your feelings, you’ll be more resilient and provide more dependable support for the people who depend on to know that you are there for them.
  • Determine when to announce the announcementTry to not to delay the announcement for too long. It is often appealing to delay the hard meeting however, it is not beneficial. Don’t let time be lost or allow gossip to spread. Rapid and well-thought-out communication is crucial.
  • Make a list of what you’ll sayIt’s possible that you don’t require a script, but it is important to consider the words you’ll utilize and the message you’d like to convey. This is particularly helpful when you are deeply affected by the news, and you’re struggling to think clear. Get straight to the point and avoid lengthy explanations. If you think you’ll must justify and justify the incident it is possible to do so later. However, be ready to be flexible, and be aware of the reactions. Set aside time for the response and let the people who are involved that you’re listening.
  • Choose a quiet setting If someone is receiving negative news will likely be vulnerable and become more difficult in the event that they feel exposed. Be sure to meet in a place that is secure and private. It is possible that they will need to absorb the latest news and therefore allow time for this. Disable phones, mobiles and other devices. When possible, information that is sensitive should be shared face-to-face instead of via email, text message. This is respectful and gives an opportunity to answer questions and offer support.

The above guidelines is applicable to all environments, there are few rules to take into consideration specifically for your workplace setting:

  • Give warnings about a coming crisis If you can see an issue with your project or something is going wrong, inform people earlier then waiting on the final to happen. In the long run, it is better to detect issues at the first sign of trouble.
  • Accept responsibility and be opentrying to spin the situation in a positive light or reduce the impact of the situation could be counterproductive and eventually undermine your credibility.
  • Find the silver the silver When problems arise, whenever you can, try to identify a way to move forward and consider ways to make the situation better. When it comes to business, when problems arise try to find solutions instead of blaming someone else.
  • Transparency Leaders often are based on the belief that being transparent with employees about issues can be distracting and cause anxiety excessively and therefore they attempt to conceal. But a lack of transparency frequently results in gossip, speculation and anxiety when employees try to predict the unpredictability of the future.

Although it’s not required to disclose every detail of about what’s happening but remember it is all about communicating an unambiguous message. If you’re not clear in your communications, someone else will be doing this for you and that means you’re no longer in charge of what is being communicated.

Then think about the next thing that happens…

The news that is bad could cause immense discomfort, anguish, anger, or even despair. If you’re not happy with an individual’s reaction to the news, it might be tempting to offer something that is comfortable. When this happens, be aware that you don’t have to fix the feelings of the person you are talking to. Just let them speak their emotions and let them know that you’re paying attention.

When the news has been released it is a good idea to think about bringing more assistance. If you are dealing with bad news about an employee redundancy plan for instance you may want to ensure that employees have access to an employee helpline that is confidential or access to on-site counselling assistance. In addition, maybe you have a colleague or a friend who can offer comfort to the person who is receiving the news?

It is important that all employees are aware of the confidential helpline for employees If you have one your organization. If you’re announcing an employee redundancy plan such as a redundancy program, make sure that you have on-site counselling readily available. This is an excellent support for managers that have to announce tragic announcements of death at the workplace, or to announce the beginning of a consulting process which could result in employees losing their jobs.

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