Okay, today, I'm going to start with a few words that everyone dreads hearing. Two words. BAD NEWS. The words themselves are bad enough. Even though the news may be minor, but hearing someone utter them is genuinely terrifying. Let alone being the one who "delivers the bad news." Whether you are a parent, a friend, or a teacher, giving bad news is the hardest task you can ever do, and I completely support you when you nod your head in agreement. The bad news is hard to get and receive.
However, when you are a team leader, delivering bad news is extra unpleasant. It is every manager's least favorite task. It is a nightmare, for sure. Your company may be closing down, or you might be facing some budget cuts, someone who has been denied an overseas posting, or one of your employees may not be getting a coveted promotion. There are several other bad news for employees, and sharing them out with your employees is a daunting job.
According to Entrepreneur. Com article, human beings have a negativity bias. This means bad news hits us much harder than good news. Because of our evolution, our survival requires immediately adapting to bad outcomes. Thus we react to bad news as a threat to our survival.
Don't Beat Around the Bush
In any case, the first thought is to soften the blow. You don't want to come off as too harsh, and your intuition tells you to show that you care. You start by talking about something else and then sugarcoat the bad news. Well, that's a bad idea. The worst that you can do when you are delivering bad news is beating around the bush. Piece of advice, rip the band-aid off! Padding lousy news makes it more difficult to digest and understand. Instead, focus on the facts.
Ask your employees what they need the most, they will tell you that they need to be treated like adults, and they require open and honest communication. This is why not talking about the elephant in the room is the worst thing that you can do to them.
But don't stress out. Here are a few ways that can help you in delivering bad news to your team!
Know What Possible Questions Might Be Asked And Keep The Answers Ready
Before you give away the news, make sure that you are aware of the news yourself and prepare yourself for the questions that your employees might ask you. Stay calm and composed; you answer better when you are in control of yourself. Just keep in mind that you need to answer all the questions your employees ask you. It will also help you make decisions about how you can communicate the "bad news."
Don't Talk, "Corporate."
Okay, this is something most managers struggle with, but you have to do it. When you are delivering bad news, it is not the time to use disguised, thick, insensitive jargon. Your employees will not appreciate it. Avoid talking about policies or corporate ideals as much as you can. It makes you seem insensitive and far removed from the news. It also makes people feel like they are just a small piece in the corporate puzzle and are powerless to control their future.
Keep Room For Venting
Everyone in this world has a different coping mechanism, and not everyone has the power to take bad news the way you can. Certain people do get emotional, and it is perfectly fine. Let them talk it out if it helps, make yourself available to listen to what the employees have to say.
However, don't bargain. According to a Psychology Today article, if it's not a negotiation, don't make it sound like it is. People need to vent, but that doesn't mean it changes the outcome. As a female motivational speaker, I think that women take bad news differently than men. Often women do like to vent more and talk about the change, whereas men will take it in and bury it for a while, as they need more time to digest the information.
Don't Forget To Show That You Care Too
You are hurt too, and you are stressed too, I agree. But don't forget to show your employees that you care. Be sympathetic. Your employees might be angry at you, but it is your job to be calm.
If you use these ways, you can RIP THE BAND-AID OFF, WITHOUT DOING MUCH DAMAGE!
Keynote Speaker Motivational Words to INSPIRE your team