Divide and Conquer:The Safe Way toDeliver Bad News

WHY IS IT SO HARD to give people bad news?

Perhaps it’s because we were all children once. Most of us learned the hard way that unhappy consequences often followed when we said, “Dad, I have some bad news to tell you.” And too often, we experience similar results as grown-ups when we say the same kinds of things to our customers. Especially when they are our most difficult customers.

So what do we do when we really must tell people things they don’t want to hear? Blurt it out and then duck? Beat around the bush? Bring in a supervisor? The urge to avoid delivering bad news is so strong that some human resources professionals have been known to deliver an entire termination interview ...

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