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
  • Best ERP Features and Benefits for Your Business

    Are you considering investing in ERP software for the first time? Or maybe you already have an ERP solution but you’re worried it’s becoming dated. If either of the above apply to you, read our latest guide on the top ERP features and benefits based on the size of your business. You may be surprised at how versatile and cost-effective it is becoming - regardless of if you own a small business or run a large enterprise. more

  • 9 Spooky Signs You Need a Contact Center Upgrade

    When was the last time you evaluated the performance of your current contact center and the software you are using? The results may be frightening! If it’s been awhile since you invested in contact center software, there is a good chance that your needs have changed or that there are better options available now. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to determine if you need an upgrade or not. more

  • 7 Ways the Wrong Phone System Can Haunt Your Business

    The wrong phone system could be haunting your business - and we’re talking about problems more serious than ghosts and ghouls. From increased costs to issues with scaling, we’ve identified seven important ways that a less than ideal phone system could be holding you back. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make to your bottom line too. 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