5 Terribly Wrong Ways To Deliver Bad News When You’re A Manager

If you work long enough in your career, delivering bad news to colleagues is inevitable. But during the coronavirus pandemic — as millions of Americans lose their jobs, get furloughed, have their pay cut or worry their employer will fold — bad news is increasingly being shared in cruelly impersonal Zoom calls and jargon-filled emails…

5 Terribly Wrong Ways To Deliver Bad News When You’re A Manager

If you work long enough in your career, delivering bad news to colleagues is inevitable. But during the coronavirus pandemic — as millions of Americans lose their jobs, get furloughed, have their pay cut or worry their employer will fold — bad news is increasingly being shared in cruelly impersonal Zoom calls and jargon-filled emails from leadership. If you are a manager tasked with sharing bad news, it can be hard to start this type of difficult conversation with colleagues. But part of your job as a team leader is to make it less awful.“The best thing managers can do is be candid and caring in their communications,” said Randy Conley, vice president of client services and trust practice leader for The Ken Blanchard Cos. “Most employees see the writing on the wall when the organization is faced with challenges like possible layoffs, restructuring or downsizing.”The stakes are high. You will be judged not only by the people directly affected by the bad news, but also by your colleagues, and your actions will color how they perceive you and the company going forward. Layoffs that were seen as unfair were correlated with a higher rate of employees’ quitting in the future, researchers found. When you are the bearer of bad news, you need to make the delivery less about you and more about the people whose lives are being changed by the bad news. Here are the biggest mistakes managers make when delivering grim updates or announcing upsetting changes. 1. You Don’t Get To The Point Right AwayWhen you know there is difficult news to come, don’t set up the false expectation that you are there to share happy normal updates by starting the meeting with chitchat. Clarity is kindness, said Kim Scott, the author of “Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity,” who has written about how professionals can be trapped by ruinous empathy and not say what needs to be said. “Every instinct in us is to run away from strong emotions, and you’ve got to be prepared to be the one who bears witness.”- Kim ScottAs an example of how not being upfront is a mistake, Scott shared her own past experience laying off a colleague who was a new parent. “Instead of cutting right to the point, I said, ‘How are you? How’s the baby?’ He went on this beautiful monologue,” she said. “I
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