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Dec 212009
 
More Bad News ...

Image via Wikipedia

You can view Communicating bad news at work – Part 1 here.

(Inspired by an entry in Lynn Gaertner-Johnston’s excellent Better Writing At Work newsletter)

Chances are you’ve read or heard more bad news on the jobs front over the last week. There’s no getting around it, things are tough out there for employers and employees alike, and are likely to remain so for the short term.

Sooner or later in your working life your going to encounter bad news, and, if you’re progressing in your career, and are responsible for a team of people, the job of communicating that bad news to others is going to fall on your shoulders. This week we continue with our tips to help make passing on bad news at work a little less painful for everyone involved.

  • Speed and consistency are paramount: when you’re communicating bad news you can’t rely on the trickle-down approach to spread the word — have a plan for getting a consistent, coherent message to all relevant people in the organisation as soon as possible once the news breaks. The last thing you want is delays feeding rumour and speculation.
  • A little compassion goes a long way: you’re probably sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and genuinely regret the circumstances that make it necessary. But the pressure of passing on the bad news can easily mask that. Don’t let it. Showing that you empathise with people, and telling them that you’re sorry about a situation isn’t an admission of guilt or liability. It simply shows that you care.

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Dec 092009
 
Bad News Bad Drawing

Image by Orin Zebest via Flickr

(Inspired by an entry in Lynn Gaertner-Johnston’s excellent Better Writing At Work newsletter)

Bad news is rife in the world of business and employment today. It’s a fact of life as companies struggle to get to grips with the subdued economy. If you’re managing or supervising staff, there’s a fair chance you’ll find yourself delivering bad news to your team at one point or another, and how you choose to communicate that news can make a huge difference.

"No one ever wants to receive bad news, and no one wants to communicate it either," says business communications specialist Lynn Gaertner-Johnston. "Delivering bad news is a huge communication challenge. It requires great care, especially if the news is upsetting rather than merely inconvenient."

Breaking bad news can be a nerve racking and difficult experience for even the most seasoned business communicator, but if you find yourself passing on bad tidings at work consider following some of these tips to help ease the pain:

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Sep 072009
 
E-mail in notes

Image by dampeebe via Flickr

E-mail is something that’s become so ubiquitous in the workplace these days that we hardly give a second thought to how it’s revolutionised the way businesses communicate.

According to recent figures published by technology market research firm The Radicati Group worldwide email traffic will reach 247 billion messages per day in 2009, growing to a staggering 507 billion messages per day by 2013. That means that this year we’ll be sending 2,858,796 e-mails every single second, 37% of them business e-mails. That’s a lot of communication!

Part of e-mail’s business appeal is the speed and convenience with which it lets us communicate with our colleagues around the office and around the globe. But that convenience and speed has a downside… and that’s a growing tedency to fire-off quick, ill-conceived, badly written and poorly thought out messages that reflect badly on you as an individual, your department, or worse, the entire organisation you work for. E-mail ettiquette is straightforward, but is often overlooked in our haste to get the message sent.

You ignore good e-mail etiquette at your peril: your message, your reputation, and even your job could be at stake.

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