CARE-ing Communication - Delivering Bad News with Finesse

Updated: March 09, 2010

When delivering bad news, whether to an individual in a performance review, to a large employee group, or even to family members or friends, the important thing to know is that it is often the manner in which the news is delivered that is remembered, much more than the actual news itself. With the right delivery, even negative news can have a positive outcome. There is a simple formula to follow: take CARE when delivering bad news.

Confidence - Plan your presentation before delivery. Be calm and deliberate as you speak to your audience, which will convey your confidence that even though the message has a negative connotation, you are confident in an ultimately positive outcome.

Authenticity - Be yourself, even in the awkward position of being the bearer of bad news. By embracing the reality of a negative truth, and yet remaining consistent to core values, you will impart empowerment rather than helplessness to your audience.

Rationale - Do your research. Know your data. Give your audience the factual reasoning that resulted in the decisions being shared with them. Once people have an understanding of the why, then they can move on to the what's next.

Empathy - Even though you are in the very uncomfortable position of being the bearer of bad news, the truth is it's not about you. You have had time to plan, to become confident in your course of action, to absorb the reality of the facts and impending negative outcome. Your audience has not had the same benefit of time. Understand that they are being dealt a blow, and in that moment, it's all about them. By conveying this understanding to you audience, you will help them move more quickly through any feelings of hurt or anger over the bad news, and on to their next steps forward.



Featured Research
  • Business Phone System Buyer's Guide

    Communication has been a focal point in business since inception, but the industry is changing drastically in how people connect to one another and what tools and systems they use to do so. Less than 15 years ago, 90% of people relied on landline phone systems for communication. Today, less than 60% of Americans even have a landline and 40% rely solely on their mobile phone. more

  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Tips and Tools for a Positive Contact Center Environment

    When it comes to stressful environments within the business world, it is no secret that the contact center frequently makes the list of one of the most stressful. This elevated level of stress leads to high agent attrition rates, and thus subsequently additional costs on your business to find, hire and train new employees. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more

  • The IT Manager's Survival Guide

    As an IT manager, maintaining physical fax servers and infrastructure is not a high priority. However, fax capability remains a business need simply because chances are your industry is dependent on its security. What if there was a way to reduce the amount of time spent handling fax complaints and maintaining physical servers? And this way took into account security, cost savings, and freed up your IT resources. Would you be interested? more