Chapter 8 Negative Messages.docx

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Department
Business Administration - Accounting & Financial Planning
Course
Business Administration - Accounting & Financial Planning EAC349
Professor
marciagunter
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 8 Negative Messages Primary Purposes  Give bad news  Have the reader read, understand and accept the message  Maintain as much goodwill as possible Secondary purposes  Maintain writer’s good image  Maintain organization’s good image  Reduce/eliminate future correspondence on the same subject  Reduce risk and avoid legal liability Want readers to feel that…  They have been taken seriously  Our decision is fair and reasonable  If they were in our shoes, they would make the same decision Organize Negative Letters, Memos and Emails Use direct approach when…  Announcing bad news to subordinates  Announcing policy decisions  Dealing with clients who prefer a direct approach  Demonstrating firmness is necessary and maintaining goodwill is not o Discontinuing clients, final collections letter To build goodwill… Negative Letters  Reason before refusal when readers understands and accepts the reason – prep for refusal  Give the refusal or negative information just once  Present an alternative or compromise if possible – shows you care about helping them  End with a positive, forward looking statement Negative Memos to Superiors  Describe the problem clearly and unemotionally  Describe the options to fix it  Explain how, background and underlying factors  Recommend a solution & ask for action Negative Memos to Peers and Subordinates  Describe the problem  Present an alternative  Ask for input or action Don’t include the reason at all if it is good for the company and not the reader Emphasize the negative information when necessary – so start with reduced health coverage rather than any good news Managers can prepare for possible negatives by giving info as soon as it is available – people affected by it can participate in setting the criteria  They are more likely to accept decisions When bad news is less serious, use pattern for negative letters. If someone prefers a different pattern, delay the negative by using a buffer Reader’s reaction influenced by…  Do you and the reader have a good relationship  Does the organization treat people well  Have readers been warned of possible negatives  Have readers bought into the criteria for the decision  Do the communications after the negative build goodwill Choosing subject lines  Writing to superiors: use a line that focuses on solving the problem  Writing to peers and subordinates: put topic in the subject  Use a negative subject line in email messages – so readers don’t think it is a routine message o When refusing a request to an email request – just hit reply and use Re: o To initiate the negative – decide whether to use negative in subject; do it when…  Negative is serious  Reader needs information to make a decision or act  Report own errors  When writing to people well, can use exaggerated negative subject lines  In other situations, a neutral subject line is acceptable Wording the Parts of a Negative Message Buffers  Neutral or positive statement that allows you to delay the negative and prepare the reader o Shouldn’t imply a positive answer and transition smoothly to the body of the letter  Doesn’t make readers respond more positively and hard to write  Start with good news or positive elements the letter contains  State a fact or provide a chronology of events  Refer to enclosures in the letter – e.g. enclosed is a new sticker for your car  Thank the reader for something he or she has done – e.g. refusing job – thank you for scheduling appointments  State a general principle – e.g. increasing insurance – The Good Driver Plan created to reward good drivers Reasons  Should be clear and convincing – use strong reasons only. If you don’t have any, omit it  Don’t hide behind company policy  Avoid saying you cannot do something 
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