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Breaking Bad News


Breaking bad news to employees is never a savory job. Who would want to be messenger of bad tidings? Here are some suggestions on how to break bad news without getting killed:

Do it soon. The sooner the bad news is relayed to the person or people concerned, the better. The longer you delay, the bigger the possibility that they’ll hear it from other people. It would merely give way to speculation and conspiracy among your people. So before they cry mutiny, do it.

Prepare for it. Get all the facts straight before you break the news to the people concerned. Make sure that you check all details to avoid misinterpretation. Give the facts straight- the causes, the effects, the future implications, etc.

Be honest. Adapt a sympathetic but objective attitude. Avoid injecting personal opinions and speculations. Be tactful but be as transparent as possible.

Ensure that action is being taken. If you are going to break bad news, make sure that you also buffer it with information regarding the actions being done regarding the issue. Encourage questions, but give only the information needed. There are some things that you may not be in the liberty to discuss as ordered by top management.


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