How to Deliver Bad News to Your Employees

How to Manage Employees

Let's face it: Being a manager isn't always glamorous. Although you sometimes get to take the credit when things go well, oftentimes you have to take the blame when they don't.

"Whether you're telling a coworker you've made a huge mistake or you're a manager who needs to lay someone off, every time you deliver bad news you run the risk of being shot as the messenger," author Sarah Greesonbach says in an article for Glassdoor.

Because nobody likes to be the bad guy, many leaders try to cushion the blow of bad news when they deliver it. But that usually backfires, according to Greesonbach, who says "phrases and excuses [intended to] drain the perceived painfulness of our message … often only make that message more painful."

Instead of trying to make bad news sound good, be concise and direct, advises Greesonbach.

"Putting off bad news with too many details will look like you're making excuses for it," she says. "Don't be tempted to over-explain what caused the problem, how it could have been avoided or who else is to blame -- just get to the point."

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