Good ways for bad news

Service Business

In life - both private and professional - there are no ideal situations. While communicating the good news is easy, it takes special skills such as empathy and courage to communicate the bad news.

In practice, there is not a single permanent business model for conducting such interviews. However, there are some universal patterns that managers are free to use and modify to tactfully convey bad news to their subordinates.


First of all, make sure that the conversation takes place in private - in private. The manager should not stress the employee unnecessarily. The subordinate should be provided with the necessary minimum comfort. An example would be asking him to sit down, etc.

The tone of voice that the manager will use is very important. Nowadays, it is not so much important what you tell someone, but how you do it. The tone should be calm, balanced, and the message should be spoken slowly and clearly.

You should also listen to what the employee has to say. There is tact and feeling in this matter. Try not to interrupt his speech.

The employee's focus may be distracted, so it is good to repeat the message several times and make sure that the interlocutor has understood us.


Bad news can lead to acceptance or denial. Be prepared for various possibilities. In this situation, the manager should select the appropriate vocabulary, similar to the one used by the employee.

Before getting down to the heart of the matter, it is a good idea to do a survey whether the employee knows what the conversation will be about, or is expecting what will be the subject of the conversation. Such audit questions should be avoided when, for obvious reasons, there is, for example, a reduction in a job.


There is a subtle line to bad news that is easy to cross. It is not necessary to talk about all the details and circumstances. There are situations where it is sufficient to convey only the main message. It all depends on the situation and each case should be approached individually, because the employee has the right to know the case that he will have to deal with.


The manager must be careful at every stage of the conversation - he should try to recognize the emotional state of the employee and relate to it accordingly. It is advisable to try to get to know, understand and identify with the emotions of the employee.

Ending the conversation

The manager should be sure that the employee understood his message fully. It is a good idea to reiterate all the elements of the communication in summary form and close the case.

After the interview, the employee should know what activities are to be done, and the manager should be sure that he has provided information about everything that is relevant to the case.

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