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Bad-News Message

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SHILPI RAWAT

on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Bad-News Message

Channel Choice for Bad News:
Chapter 7 Business Communication, 15th edition by Lehman and DuFrene Copyright 2008 by Thomson/South-Western

Chapter 7 Business Communication, 15th edition by Lehman and DuFrene Copyright 2008 by Thomson/South-Western

Chapter 7 Business Communication, 15th edition by Lehman and DuFrene Copyright 2008 by Thomson/South-Western

Chapter 7 Business Communication, 15th edition by Lehman and DuFrene Copyright 2008 by Thomson/South-Western

Delivering Bad-News Messages

Lecture Slides

-Dr PRISCILLA BERRY

Indirect Outline Used in Bad-News Messages
How to Show Tact
Personal delivery says message is important, shows empathy for recipient, and is rich in nonverbal cues and feedback.

Personal delivery
Electronic messages
Electronic messages are more honest and accurate and cause less discomfort for sender and sometimes receiver.

Using the Inductive Approach
to Build Goodwill
Reasons easier to understand if given before bad news
Reasons might be ignored if bad news given first

Disappointment in bad news might interfere with ability to understand reasons

Advantages of the Inductive Outline
Identifies the ________of the letter without first turning off the reader

Presents the reasons _______ the refusal, increasing understanding and acceptance

Avoids a negative reaction because the refusal does not come as a _______

Closes on a neutral or ________ note
BAD News Letter
Developing the First Paragraph
Begin with a _____ to cushion the bad news
Avoid empty acknowledgments of the _______
Avoid _________ the bad news too early
Avoid starting too positively to build __________
Effective Openings for Bad-News Message
Compliment

Point of
agreement

Good news

Resale

A review

Gratitude

Guidelines for Writing the Reasons Section
Provide a smooth transition from the opening paragraph
Include a concise discussion that is logical to reader
Show reader benefits and and considerations
Avoid using company policy as reason
Writing the Bad-News Statement
Position the bad news strategically
Use passive voice, general terms, and abstract nouns
Use positive language to accentuate anything good
Imply the refusal, but only if receiver can still understand message

Offering a Counter proposal or “Silver Lining”
Counter proposal
(tangible or intangible):
States what you can do or offer

or
“Silver” lining
Provides a thought that turns
the discussion to a positive direction

Techniques for Closing Positively
De-emphasize the negative
Unify the message
Include positive, forward-looking idea
Reference pleasant idea from discussion
Use resale or sales promotion
Express willingness to help in another way

Closing Positively: What NOT To Do!
Avoid ________ to the bad news
Avoid ____ statements that seem shallow or superficial
Avoid statements that could _________
the refusal or promote future ___________

Refusal of a request or favor

Denial of a claim

Denial of credit

Message of constructive criticism

Types of Bad-News Messages
Refusal of Employee Request
What Does Not Work
Subject: CD Players Out of the Question

We can’t afford to install CD players in our current fleet of trucks.
 
I would really like to enable you to play your music so your trips would be less boring.
 
Unfortunately, the cost of installing a CD player in our current trucks is exorbitant—over $500 per truck. Management would never agree to spend that much money at this time.
 
I’ll do what I can to convince management to include a CD player in the specifications of new trucks.

Analysis
Reveals refusal in subject line

States refusal before explanation

Uses negative language and condescending tone without providing a complete explanation for refusal

Offers possible alternative, but reluctant tone doesn’t seem sincere

Why It Works
Because providing our drivers a pleasant and productive work environment is a priority, your suggestion to install CD players in our current fleet of trucks has been carefully considered. Listening to your favorite music while trucking down the highway is a sure way to shorten a long haul.
 
Installing a quality sound system in any vehicle can be a surprisingly complex and expensive task. The estimated cost for installing a CD player in one of our current trucks is $500. In contrast, installing a CD player as original equipment adds only $75 to the truck’s cost, a much more realistic expenditure for the company.
 
Carie, in response to your feedback, I’ve submitted a proposal seeking approval for a change in the specifications for new trucks to include a CD player. With the normal frequency that trucks are rotated within the fleet, you should be trucking down the highway soon with your favorite CD playing in the background.

Analysis

Cushions bad news with a sincere compliment for suggestion

Transitions to reasons and provides complete explanation for refusal

Restates reason for saying “No” to de-emphasize refusal

“The customer is always right.”
How do you handle a situation where the customer is obviously wrong?
Accentuate the positive aspects of the situation
De-emphasize the bad news to promote a continuing relationship
Emphasize sales promotion when appropriate

Denying a claim
Why It Works
What Does Not Work
Your message questioning your statement has been received. I am sorry but we cannot adjust your account as you requested. Clearly, the statement is correct.
 
Each of the order forms you have completed states that returns are subject to a 15 percent restocking charge. Surely you saw this information printed in bold print on the order forms, and our telephone operators also explain our return policy thoroughly when customers place orders. I am sure you can appreciate the cost and effort we incur to restock merchandise after the winter ski season is over.
 
Thank you for doing business with us. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call or message us.

Analysis
Begins with an obvious idea

Includes an unnecessary apology for justified decision and provides refusal before reasons

Uses a patronizing tone that may offend receiver

Presents an explanation that focuses on writer and is too brief to be understood

Uses clichés that may undermine the decision and may lead to unnecessary correspondence

Your message questioning your statement has been received. I am sorry but we cannot adjust your account as you requested. Clearly, the statement is correct.
 
Each of the order forms you have completed states that returns are subject to a 15 percent restocking charge. Surely you saw this information printed in bold print on the order forms, and our telephone operators also explain our return policy thoroughly when customers place orders. I am sure you can appreciate the cost and effort we incur to restock merchandise after the winter ski season is over.
 
Thank you for doing business with us. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call or message us.

Analysis

Uses subject line that provides info without revealing bad news


Uses resale to cushion bad news


Presents clear explanation behind restocking policy with emphasis on reader benefits


Implies refusal by stating the amount of enclosed check


Shifts emphasis by presenting a silver-lining sales promotion


Announcing Negative Organizational News
What Does Not Work
Subject: Proposed plan for increased manufacturing capacity

Growth presents its challenges. As projected, increased demand for our product will soon exceed the capabilities of present production facilities as you know from information included on the company intranet. For some time we have been studying whether to expand our current manufacturing facility or relocate to another site.

High property taxes and transportation cost increases each year are compelling reasons to consider alternative sites. Likewise, attracting new talent into this high-cost metro area has become more difficult each year. In fact, both of our newly hired unit supervisors are commuting over one hour just to obtain affordable housing.

Why It Works
COMPANY WILL RELOCATE MARCH 5

Effective March 5, 2008, we will relocate our plant facility to Mason, Ohio. Approved by the Board of Directors at its last meeting, this relocation will enable the company to reduce its operating expenses by 15 percent.

All employees wishing to relocate should notify their supervisors by the end of next week. We appreciate your support in this move.

Analysis

Uses subject line to introduce topic but does not reveal bad news

Uses buffer to introduce familiar topic and lead to reasons

Provides rational explanation, including benefits for company and employees

analysis
Reveals bad news in subject line

Begins bluntly with bad news

Explains company benefits but nothing to help employees understand

Is clear on the next step but shows no empathy

Ends with insincere cliché

Sends highly sensitive information via email

Communicating Negative Organizational News
Convey the bad news as soon as possible
Give a complete, rational explanation
Show empathy and respond to feelings
Follow up
Samples
Full transcript