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CMN 124 (62)
John Burry (16)

Chapter 7 cmn124.docx

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CMN 124
John Burry

DELIVERING UNFAVOURABLE NEWS Bad news messages fall into several categories:  Refusals turn down invitations, suggestions, proposals, and requests for information, employment, and credit.  Announcements disclose price increase, policy changes, delivery delays, cancellations of services, and product defects or recalls  Assessments or appraisals offer negative assessment of employee, job performance or personal issues Tone in Bad News Messages  Don’t plead with the reader (please understand) or resort to name-calling  Beware of mixed messages, for example by expressing unwillingness to comply when it is within you power to do so (I am sorry that we have chosen to)  Avoid statements based on assumptions that the reader will accept the bad news (you will certainly agree/ understand/ appreciate)  Stick to facts and keep your language jargon free  Avoid statements of opinions that can expose you and your company to legal liability  Edit timid or overly apologetic statements that may weaken the reader’s confidence in your decision (I am afraid that we cannot)  Avoid unnecessarily write-centered remarks (we cannot afford to/we must refuse/ disappoint/ reject your)  Use expressions of sympathy (sorry/I regret/ unfortunately) carefully to avoid hinting the bad news. Direct Writing Plan for Bad News Messages Some readers prefer directness. Some messages demand it. It is not always necessary to break the bad news gently using the special delaying strategies that characterize the indirect writing plan, which reveals the bad news only after an explanation has prepared the reader for it. In many situations it is possible to level
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