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Phrases To Never Say When Baring Bad News

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Anyone who has to deliver a bad message always runs the risk of being shot as the messenger. Even if you only have to deliver an “Amy, is going to be late.” message, here are some phrases that you should consider avoiding at all costs.

  1. “I’m so sorry, but…”
    • avoid this because it’s the best way to have a negative impact on how people perceive you.
  2. “While I have you here…”
    • failure to warn senior leadership of impending bad news, such as poor sales or loss of client, this is a cardinal sin. So is a failure to warn subordinates of mistakes in performance and provide opportunity for correction. Do not drop bad news in passing. Always schedule a time to meet.
  3. With too many details
    • share context but share it quickly. Did you know putting off bad news with too many details will look like you’re making excuses for it. Honestly, just get to the point.
  4. “I’m not clear on the details, but…”
    • never hide the facts. Hiding what you know or not having all the details before you share bad news won’t solve any problems. Make sure you have all the information you’ll need before you share the unpleasant updates.
  5. Without planning ahead
    • As the person trying to figure out how to deliver bad news, you have an advantage over the recipient: you already know what the bad news is. That gives you time to carefully plan your message so that it will be received the best way possible. When it comes to communicating in the workplace, nothing catches you off guard like having to share something negative.


Published by Sarah

Hello! I'm a self-employed entrepreneur. I enjoy affiliate marketing and photography in my spare time. I am currently in college for communications in social media and working towards my undergraduate degree in graphic design.

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