How to Give Bad News to Your Client, Sponsor, or Boss | Summary and Q&A

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March 23, 2023
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Online PM Courses - Mike Clayton
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How to Give Bad News to Your Client, Sponsor, or Boss

TL;DR

Learn how to effectively deliver bad news by being direct, providing time for understanding and emotional processing, and offering support.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How can pretending that bad news isn't bad make the situation worse?

Pretending bad news isn't bad only delays the inevitable and catches stakeholders off guard, leading to feelings of betrayal or mistrust. It's important to be honest and transparent.

Q: Why is it important to give a short warning before delivering bad news?

Giving a short warning allows stakeholders to mentally prepare themselves for the incoming bad news. It helps mitigate the shock factor and gives them a moment to collect themselves.

Q: How should one respond to strong emotions from stakeholders when delivering bad news?

It's crucial to provide space and time for stakeholders to express their emotions without criticism. Actively listen without interrupting and empathize with their feelings, acknowledging their anger or sadness.

Q: What should be the focus of the conversation after delivering bad news?

Rather than dwelling on the bad news, shift the conversation towards the next steps or future plans. Collaborate with stakeholders to come up with a joint plan to address the situation and provide support.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Pretending bad news isn't bad only leads to stakeholders feeling ambushed and blindsided.

  • Making a big drama out of bad news shifts the focus from the news to yourself, making it worse.

  • Giving bad news quickly and efficiently, with a short warning, helps stakeholders prepare to receive it.

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