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How Good Leaders Deliver Bad News

There are many people who depend on a leader as this individual is tasked with the responsibility to guide their teammates. Delivering bad news is also another part of the job associated with being a leader. Although it may be hard to share bad news such as a demotion with a worker, this is just […]

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There are many people who depend on a leader as this individual is tasked with the responsibility to guide their teammates. Delivering bad news is also another part of the job associated with being a leader. Although it may be hard to share bad news such as a demotion with a worker, this is just one duty that comes with the territory of leadership.

How is there a good way to give bad news? Well, it might not be easy to break the bad news. However, there are ways that leaders can relay some unfavorable news so that it is more palatable. Sometimes people aren’t aware of how a person may receive information that’s opposed to what they would like to hear. Initial reactions can be anger, frustration, stress, sorrow or even relief. Despite the emotion solicited, here’s how good leaders can deliver bad news without feeding confrontation or inflaming the situation.

Be Empathetic

Leaders should be more empathetic when addressing their employees with bad news. There may come a time where a team member needs to be let go or demoted. Leaders should take into consideration how this news will affect that person’s life. When handling such matters as this, leaders should make sure they are not in any rush when sharing the news. They should allow the other person to respond and adjust to the new announcement as rushing to leave this conversation is seen as quite insensitive.

Always Give People a Warning

Fair chances should always be given before delivering bad news. Everyone is capable of making mistakes and leaders are no exception. By instituting a warning, team members have a fair opportunity to avoid making those critical mistakes. An advance warning also shows that a leader values their members and is willing to compromise when necessary.

Say “no”

Sometimes it is necessary to say “no”. In many cases, it is needed to reinforce a company’s values. Leaders may tiptoe around giving bad news because they feel for others. While empathy is a good leadership quality, other members of the team still need to know that their leader is consistent in upholding their values. No one is exempt from being held accountable.

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