Good and Neutral NewsWritten, Electronic or Verbal • Direct (deductive) approach: > Opening states main idea > Body provides detailed explanation > Closing summarizes and includes a future-oriented thought • Advantages: > emphasizes main idea with position > easy to grasp quickly > saves time
Thank-you Notes • Make it short, specific, and thoughtful. Example I was pleasantly surprised to receive a certificate to your online music site in return for conducting your strategic planning seminar. Downloading music added some “jazz” to my day while giving me more insight into your business model. Thanks for your kindness and the useful gift.
Appreciation/Congratulation Messages • Make it timely, simple, short, sincere and specific! Example This past week, I found myself applying the principles you discussed in your speech to the Lincoln Jaycees. The time analysis you suggested easily identified areas requiring more management focus. Prioritizing my daily activities will be a challenge, but now I see the need for it. Thanks for an informative and useful seminar.
Reporting Bad News • Goal: Communicate bad news tactfully so the recipient accepts it and is willing to continue a positive relationship. • Historically, delivered face-to-face; however, in today’s far-flung global operations, email often is used. • The message still must be carefully constructed with empathy and tact.
Delivering Bad News • If bad news is delivered in the first sentence of the message, the recipient may shut down and refuse to accept the rationale supporting the decision. • Instead, use an indirect approach with the rationale first in order to build a pathway to understanding and acceptance; “why” first, “what” second.
The Inoffensive Opening • Start with a compliment • Express gratitude for something in the request • Agree with one point in the request, “Yes, but…” • If two requests, grant the smaller one • If refusing a claim, begin with some positive statement about the product • Review circumstances preceding the disputed transaction
The Supportive Middle • Build your case for the bad news with logical, persuasive reasons clearly stated • Try to find a significant alternative that can be done • Avoid negative or accusatory words • Use passive voice • Imply refusal: I wish we could, but…
The effective Close • Use a unifying summary sentence • Use a positive, forward-looking idea: “We value our ongoing business relationship…” • Avoid statements that imply you are conflicted about your refusal: “We hope you can understand…” • Don’t invite further debate: “If you have further questions…”
Communicating Negative Organizational News • Build a basis for trust by maintaining ongoing, open, two-way communication and widely sharing company performance information with employees • If you must convey bad news, do it as soon as possible to avoid damaging rumors • Include a candid, complete, rational explanation outlining contemplated corrective actions and showing empathy. Indicate that you are available to respond to concerns. • Be prepared for this “internal” communication to become “external” quickly.
Crisis communication • Have a crisis communication plan including a simplified decision-making process involving only the absolutely necessary people. • Immediately activate a crisis command center. • Remain calm, even though those around you aren’t. • Appoint a single- trained spokesperson through whom everything is communicated (not the CEO and not you). • Communicate promptly with absolute accuracy to all impacted audiences.
Persuasion • The ability to use an honest, organized presentation of information to influence others to buy whatever you’re selling (a product, a service, an idea, yourself, etc.) • To succeed, you must know both your product and your audience intimately.
The Product • What is its chief strength? • What are its weaknesses? • How does it compare to competitors? • What does it cost? • What will it do for the audience?
The Audience • Who are they (age, gender, race, culture, occupations, similarities, differences, things shared with you, etc.)? • What do they need, want, fear? • What are the best channels/ways to reach them? • What is your goal? How can you leverage their needs to achieve yours?
The Process • Goal: establish an immediate relationship between the audience and your product Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) • Immediately grab attention with something startling or something they need • Use a central, unique feature as the theme • Write concisely with short, bite-sized bullets and paragraphs • Use concrete, visually vivid nouns and active verbs • Use specific, convincing evidence • End with a summary paragraph containing a “hook” to generate immediate action: Get 15% off until March 1st…
Reports to Support Problem-solving • Problem-solving: • Recognize and define the problem • Select a method for solving • Collect and organize data, documenting sources • Reach a conclusion
Define Problem • Frame the problem • State the goal of the study • State the hypothesis to be proved or disproved “Productivity will increase when skilled employees are organized to work as teams rather than solely as individuals…”
Define Scope • What? A study of support staff salaries • Why? To determine if competitive • When? Immediately • Where? Our metropolitan area • Who? Bank support staff • Derive purpose statement: To survey support staff salaries in local banks to determine if our salaries are competitive.
Select Solution Method • Secondary Research: mines and reports information already produced by others > Quick > Cheap > Avoids needless duplication > Can establish need and point of departure for primary research
Searching • Be skeptical of all sources > Who wrote this? > Is it objective and credible? > How current? When published? > Do other sources contradict it? > It based on other data, what are they?
Warning • Define the targeted population as narrowly and exactly as possible in order to assure that the sample is representative • Pilot test the survey instrument to refine it and assure its validity before conducting the full-scale survey • Select an appropriate data collection method that will generate accurate statistically significant results • Repeat to assure that the results are reliable over time • DON’T TORTURE DATA TO FORCE IT TO SUPPORT A PRE-CONCEIVED CONCLUSION; INSTEAD, LET IT LEAD YOU TO THE TRUTH. FACTS WILL SET YOU FREE.
Types of Surveys • Mailed: relatively cheap; can reach a wide number; often generates a low rate of return • Telephone: quick and inexpensive; allows probing; short because of intrusion; may exclude unlisted • Face-to-face: useful for in-depth exploration of complex or sensitive topics; labor-intensive and expensive • Email: fast, inexpensive, easily updated, limited to those with computers