Delivering Bad News Gently

Although PRowl Public Relations staff members may be students now, we all hope to achieve success in our professional lives in the future. With that success will come growth and career satisfaction (or so is the plan), but as we continue climbing the ladder it is almost inevitable that we will have to deliver bad news, both internally and externally, at some point.

Here are 9 tips to help convey bad news gently from Communication Solutions.

1. Deliver the news privately.
2. Deliver the news without delay.
3. Give the news face to face, not with a memo or letter.
4. If the person is experiencing a personal crisis, delay delivering bad news if possible until after the crisis has passed.
5. Combine the bad news with some good news to take the edge off.
6. Don’t use humor; it may be seen as insensitive.
7. Sympathize as much as possible, if appropriate.
8. Discuss the reasons behind the decision leading to the bad news.
9. Stay calm if the person reacts angrily, do not match their anger.

Do you have anything to add?

A part of public relations is knowing how to effectively communicate with your audience (in this case, possibly a disgruntled employee) to create a desired effect. These tips can be used to help us think about our communication style and method when delivering bad news.

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