Bad News Messages Taking the sting out of criticism or negative news
Use a buffer paragraph • When delivering “bad news” (disciplining an employee, turning down a job applicant), DO NOT use the direct approach. In other words, DO NOT front-load. • Add a buffer paragraph (no bad news) before the paragraph with the purpose and main idea of the communication.
Goodwill Closing • Always use a goodwill closing in any communication (memo, email, letter). This is especially important for the bad news message.
Example of buffer paragraph • Thank you for taking the time to interview with XYZ Engineering and Construction last Friday. The screening committee enjoyed meeting you and learning about your extensive experience in the structural engineering and construction field.
Example of Main message/details • As you know, we interviewed many qualified candidates, including you, and were pleased with the wide breadth of experience represented by the group. Because of our interest in developing the Chinese market, however, we have decided to hire one of the applicants who is proficient in the Chinese language.
Example of Main message/details, cont. • I am sure that with your particular experience in the domestic market, you will soon find a position that will capitalize on your expertise.
Example of Goodwill closing • Thank you again for your interest in XYZ Engineering and Construction. We wish you the best in your future career.