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Goals in communicating bad decisions
- Make your decision clear.
- Help your sudience accept the message
- maintain a goodwill relationship
- preserve the companys image
- protect the company against lawsuits
Emails for giving bad news
- allows the sender to determine precise wording
- gives the reader time to absorb and understand the msg before reacting
- -ensures a consistant msge when sent to many people
- -controls the msg time when sent to many people
- -provides a permanent record of what was communicated
- -ensures a more accurate and complete msg
when to use the Direct Plan - present the bad news immediately
- -The bad news is about a small, insignificant issue that will unlikely elicit an emotional reaction from the reader.
- -the reader prefers directness - managers prefer
- -the reader expects a no response.
- -the writer wants to emphasize the negative news.
How to use the Indirect Plan - Buffer the bad news
- Present the reason first, then the negative news.
- -Employees who report to u. when want "yes"
- -customers, when cust want a higher priced item
- -readers who prefer the indirect plan -high context cultures
- -people who want relationship building
What is a nuetral msg
- -does not convey the news imed
- -resists implying positive news, misleading
- Not Nuetral - Stores like Parker beneit from our policy of not providing demos of our product.
- Misleading: your store would be a geat venue for a demo product
- -provides a smooth transition to the reasons that follow
- -refers to the original request
- Irrelevant: Our new product has received rave reviews from the Dec issue of magazine.
- -establishes compatibility beetween the reader and writer
- -avoids controversy and condescension
- Not supportive: You must realize how expensive it would be to supply a demo for every store that sells our product.
- -motivates the reciever to continue reading
- -avoids obvious information
- Obvious: we have recived your request for an in store demo model.
- -gets to the main point quickly
- Too Long: as you may remember, for many years we provided in store demos of our audio systems. We were happy to do this because we felt that customers needed to hear the surround effects and superior quality compared to competitors systems. we discontinued this practive last year becasuse...
- Agreement: web both recognize the promotional possibilities..
- Appreciation: Thanks for letting use know your success..
- Compliment: Congrats on having served...
- Facts: Three-fourths of our distribution sold at least 50%
- General Principle: We believ ein giving our distributors a wide range of support
- Good News: Our upcoming 20% off sale will be heavilty advertised and will likely increase traffic
- Understanding: We want to help you boost your sales.
Why using buffers
in a sincere effor to help the reader accept the news. not to manipulate or confuse. Provides a smooth transition to the discussion of reasons.
Justifying your decision
focus on the reasons for the refusal rather that the refusal itself.You do not need to make an apology for making a rational business decision. It will weaken your position.
Closing on a pleasant Note
dont refer to the bad news in the closing, end on a positive, friendly helpful note.
Approaches to Avoid
Apologizing, anticipating probelms, inviting needless communication, repeating the bad news, using a cliche, revealing a doubt, sounding selfish.
Techniques to use:
Offering best wishes, suggesting a counterproposal, directing to other sources, referring to sales promotions.
Direct plan in bad news
when the reader expects a NO. or you want to emphasize the bad news. Present bad news with a brief rationale in the first paragraph.
Indirect plant in presenting bad news
- Purpose: establish a common ground with the reader.
- Select an opening statement that is neutral, relevant, supportive, interesting and short.
- Consider establishing a point of agreement, express appriciation, giving a sincere compliment, with facts or general purpose, giving good news or showing understanding,
- provide a smooth transition from the buffer to the reasons that foolow
Justifying your decision
- If possible, stress reasons that benefit someone other than yourself
- state reasons in positive language
- avoid relying on "company policy" insteade explain the reason behind the policy.
- state the reasons concisely to avoid impatience.
- present the strongest reason first to avoid weakness
Give the bad news
- -if using the indirect, subordinate the bad news by putting it in the middle of a paragraph and discussing additional reasons.
- -present the bad news as a logical outcome of the reason
- -state the bad news in positvie and impersaonl language. Avoid cannot
- -make the refusal definite.
Close on a positive note
- -Make your closing original
- -consider expressing best wishes, cournterproposal, other sources of help, subtle sales proposal
- -avoid anticipating problems, apologizing, needless communication, cliches, revealing doubt or selfishness.
rejecting an idea
- -recognize hardwork
- -educate on business realities
- -focus on business not personal.
- -use the indirect plan to persuade the plan is not the best for the company
Refusing a favor
When refusing routine requests, give the refusal in the first paragraph
Refusing a customer request
Indirect plan is almost alwause used. a dissatisfied cust is emotionally involved. Use impersonal, neutral language to explaon basis for refusal. do not use "you". Offer a compromise, however small, helps retain the readers goodwill. Don use a strong sales pitch.
Announcing bad news
Bad news announcements are not in response to any request.
Bad news about the organization
show that the situation is receiving top management attn. Must present to internal and external. Anything written may become public.
Bad news about jobs
pay as much attn to communicating bad news to employees as your would for customers. Use the direct plan especially if they expected the news. The direct and indirect plan work equally well for bad news about jobs, depending on the company culture and whether employees are expecting the bad news.