Chapter 11: BCOM Writing Negative Messages Essay

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Buffer
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A neutral, noncontroversial statement that establishes common ground with the reader in an indirect negative message.
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Crisis Management Plan
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Plan the defines operational procedures to deal with a crisis, including communication tasks and responsibilities.
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Performance Review
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Employee evaluation procedure giving feedback on performance and guidance for future efforts.
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Whistleblowing
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Efforts by employees to report concerns about unethical or illegal behavior.
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How to use the direct approach effectively when conveying negative news:
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1. Put the bad news up front, follows with the reasons and perhaps offers an alternative. 2. Close with a respectful statement that is as positive as possible.
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Use the direct approach when u know your audience prefers receiving bad news up front
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or if the bad news will cause readers relatively little pain or disappointment. Otherwise, use the indirect approach.
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How to use the indirect approach effectively when conveying negative news:
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It begins with a buffer ( a neutral or positive statement to establish common ground with the reader), explains the reasons leading up to the decision or news, clearly states the negatives news without unduly emphasizing it; and closes with a respectful statement. unduly=too much, excessively; inappropriately, improperly.
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When using the indirect approach, u need to be careful to avoid obscuring the bad news or
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misleading u audience into thinking you are actually delivering good news.
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The key to avoiding both problems is remembering that the purpose of the indirect approach is to cushion the blow,
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not to avoid delivering it. When using a buffer, u must be sure it is neither deceptive nor insincere.
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To write an effective buffer, look for opportunities to express u appreciation for being considered,
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to assure u reader of u attention to the request or to indicate u understanding of the reader’s needs.
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Ethics and etiquette r important in every message, of course, but they take on particular significance with negative messages for three reasons:
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1. The communicator needs to adhere to a variety of laws and regulations when delivering negative messages. adhere=stick; consistence; conform; comply with; abide by. 2. Care and sensitivity in the content and delivery of negative messages. 3. Communicator need to manage their own emotions when crafting and distributing negative messages while at the same time considering the emotional needs of their audiences.
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When making negative announcements on routine business matters,
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the indirect approach is usually preferred, although the direct approach can work for minor issues.
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When rejecting suggestions and proposals,
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tailor the approach to the situation.
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An unsolicited proposal from an external source does not need as much of u attention
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as a solicited proposal from an internal source. Ex. for refusing routine requests, the direct approach is usually sufficient, except when the manner at hand is significant.
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When conveying bad news about transactions, u need to modify the customer’s expectations,
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explain how u plan to resolve the situation, and repair whatever damage might have been done to the business relationship. Whether u should apologize depends in part on the magnitude of the situation and whether u previously established specific expectations about the transactions.
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When refusing a claim or a request for adjustment, the indirect approach is usually preferred
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because the other party is emotionally involved and expects u to respond positively. Demonstrate that u have considered the complaint carefully and then rationally and calmly explain why u r refusing the request.
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Public communications about various organizations matters fall into two categories:
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1. Those u can plan for and have more time to prepare messages. and 2. Crises that hit without warning.
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For the first category of announcing bad news and u can plan for
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it includes a variety of announcements, from relatively minor matters such as prices increases to major matters such as layoffs and bankruptcy proceeding, for these messages be sure to match u approach to the situation, consider the unique needs of each audience group, give each audience enough time to react as needed, give uself enough time to plan and manage a response, look for positives angles but do not exude false optimism, and seek expert advice on legal, financial, or technical matters if u r not sure how to proceed.
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To respond successfully to rumors and negative information in a social media environment:
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1. Be sure u r engaged with important stakeholders before negative situations appear. 2. Monitor the conversation taking place about u company and its products. 3. When u see negative messages, evaluate them before responding. 4. After evaluating negative messages, take the appropriate response based on an overall public relations plan. Some messages r better ignored, whereas others should be addressed immediately with corrective information.
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Successful strategies for sending negative employment-related messages:
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1. Indirect approach is usually the better choice for negative employment messages.
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When refusing requests from other employers for performance-related information about past employees,
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u message can be brief and direct. Simply provide whatever info u company allows to be shared in these situations.
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Refusing a recommendation request directly from a former employee feels much more personal for the recipient,
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however, so the indirect approach is better.
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Responding to request on social networks is somewhat easier
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because u have the option of recommending just one particular aspect of a person’s overall skill set, even if u cannot make an unqualified, overall endorsement.
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Messages rejecting job applicants raise a number of emotional and legal issues and therefore
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must be approached with great care. Experts vary in their advice about how much info to include in these messages. The safest strategy is a brief message that opens with an expression of appreciation for being considered.
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Negatives performance reviews should take care to document the performance problems,
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be sure that all employees r being evaluated consistently, be written in a calm and objective voice, and focus on opportunities for improvements. It must be in written with reference to accurate, current job descriptions that provide the basis for measuring employee performance.
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Termination messages r the most challenging employment messages of all. They should clearly present the reasons for the decision, present the reason in a way that cannot be
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construed as an unfair or discriminatory, follow company policy and any relevant legal guidelines, and avoid personal attacks or insults of any kind. Try to deliver the written message in person if possible.
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Negative messages can have as many as five goals:
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* Give the bad news * Ensure acceptance of the bad news. * Maintain the reader’s goodwill. * Maintain the organization good image. * Minimize or eliminate future correspondence on the matter, as appropriate.
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When preparing negative messages,
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choose the medium and channel with care.
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appropriate organization helps readers accept
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u negative news.
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U need to consider a variety of factors when choosing between direct
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and indirect approach for negative messages.
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To help decide which approach to take in any situation u encounter, ask uself the following questions:
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* Do u need to get the reader’s attention immediately? * Does the recipient prefer a direct style of communication? * How important is this news to the reader? * Will the bad news come as a shock?
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Writing clearly and sensitively helps
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take some of the sting out of bad news.
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Protect u audience’s pride by using
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language that conveys respect.
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Use the direct approach when u negative
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answer or info will have minimal personal impact.
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The amount of detail u should provide depends on u
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relationship with the audience.
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Apologies can have legal ramifications,
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but refusing to apologize out of fear of admitting guilt can damage a company’s relationships with its stakeholders.
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Use the indirect approach when some preparation
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will help u audience accept u bad news.
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A well written buffer establishes
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common ground with the reader.
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Poor written buffers mislead or
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insult the reader.
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Do not hide behind company policy when u deliver bad news; present logical answers instead. Well-written reasons r:
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* Detailed * Tactful * Individualized * Unapologetic if no one is at fault * Positive
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To handle bad news carefully:
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* Deemphasize the bad news visually and grammatically. * Use a conditional statement, if appropriate. * Tell what u did do, not what u did not do.
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Do not disguise bad news
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when u emphasize the positive. disguise=alter appearance; conceal
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Closing on a respectful note:
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* Avoid an uncertain conclusion. * Manage future correspondence. * Express optimism, if appropriate * Be sincere
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A Positive close:
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* Builds goodwill * Offers a suggestion for action. * Provides a look toward the future.
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Sharing bad news effectively requires commitment
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from everyone in the organization.
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Whistleblowing
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is a difficult decision for more employees to make, but it provides a vital element of feedback for managers.
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Creating Negative Messages:
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A. Choose the better approach. B. For the indirect approach, open with an effective buffer. C. Provide reasons and additional info. D. Clearly state the bad news. E. Close on a respectful note.
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Creating Negative Messages: A: Choose the better approach
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* Consider using the direct approach when the audience is aware of the possibility of negative news, when the reader is not emotionally involved in the message, when u know that the reader would prefer the bad news first, when u want to discourage a response. * Consider using the indirect approach when the news is likely to come as a shock or surprise, when u audience has a high emotional investment in the outcome, and when u want to maintain a good relationship with the audience.
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Creating Negative Messages: B. For the indirect approach, open with an effective buffer.
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* Establish common ground with the audience. * Validate the request, if u r responding to a request. * Do not trivialize the reader’s concerns. * Do not mislead the reader into thinking the coming news might be positive.
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Creating Negative Messages: C: Provide reasons and additional info.
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* Explain why the news is negative. * Adjust the amount of detail to fit the situation and the audience. * Avoid explanations when the reason r confidential, excessively complicated, or irrelevant to the readers. * If appropriate, state how u plan to correct or respond to the negative news. * Seek the advice of company lawyers if u r unsure what to say.
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Creating Negative Messages: D. Clearly state the bad news.
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* state the bad news as positively as possible, using tactful wording. * To help protect reader’s feelings, deemphasize the bad news by minimizing the space devoted to it, subordinating it, or embedding it. * If u response might change in the future if circumstances change, explain the conditions to the reader. * Emphasize what u can do or have done rather than what u cannot or will not do.
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Creating Negative Messages: E. Close on a respectful note.
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* Express best wishes without being falsely positive. * Suggest actions readers might take, if appropriate. * Encourage further communication only if u r willing to discuss the situation further.
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Negatives announcements on routine business matters usually should be
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handled with the indirect approach because the news is unexpected.
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Consider the following points as you develop your routine negative messages:
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* Manage u time carefully; focus on the most important relationship and requests. * If the matter is closed, do not imply that it is still open by using phrases such as “let me think about it and get back to u” as a way to delay saying no. * Offer alternative ideas if u can, particularly if the relationship is important. * Do not imply that other assistance or information might be available if it is not.
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When u r turning down an invitation or a request for a favor,
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consider u relationship with the reader.
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If u are not in a position to offer additional information or assistance,
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do not imply that u r.
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Some negative messages regarding transactions carry significant
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financial and legal ramifications.
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U approach to bad news about business transactions depends on
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what u have done previously to set the customer’s expectations.
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If u failed to meet expectations that u set for the customer,
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u should include an element of apology.
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Steps to write messages:
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1. Plan 2. Write 3. Complete
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Steps to write messages: Plan
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* Analyze the situation * Gather the information * Choose medium and channel * Organize the information
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Steps to write messages: Write
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* Adapt to u audience * Compose the message
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Steps to write messages: Complete
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* Revise the message * Produce the message * Proofread the message * Distribute the message
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Handling bad news about transactions:
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* Reset the customer’s expectations about the transaction. * Explain what happened and why, if appropriate. * Explain how u will resolve the situation. * Repair any damage done to the business relationship, perhaps offering future discounts, free merchandise, or other considerations. * Offer a professional, businesslike expression of apology if u organization made a mistake.
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When refusing a claim:
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* Demonstrate u understanding of the complaint. * Explain u refusal * Suggest alternative action
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U can avoid committing defamation
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by not responding emotionally or abusively.
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To avoid being accused of defamation, follow these guidelines:
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* Avoid any kind of abusive language or terms that could be considered defamatory. * Provide accurate info and stick to the facts. * Never let anger or malice motivate u messages. * Consult u company’s legal advisers whenever u think a message might have legal consequences.
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Refusing Claims:
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* Use the indirect approach because the reader is expecting or hoping for a positive response. * Indicate u full understanding of the nature, of the complaint. * Explain why u r refusing the request, without hiding behind company policy. * Provide an accurate, factual account of the transaction. * Emphasize ways things should have been handled rather that dwell reader’s negligence. * Avoid any appearance of defamation. * Avoid expressing personal opinions. * End with a positive, friendly, helpful close. * Make any suggested action easy for readers to comply with.
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Negative organizational messages to external audiences
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can require extensive planning.
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Give people as much time as possible to
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react to negative organizational news.
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When making negative announcements, follow these guidelines:
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* Match u approach to the situation. * Consider the unique needs of each group. * Give each audience enough time to react as needed. * Give yourself enough time to plan and manage a response. * Look for positive angles, but do not exude false optimism. exude= emit; give off; radiate. * Seek expert advice if u r not sure.
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Responding effectively to rumors and negative info in social media
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requires continual engagement with stakeholders and careful decision making about which messages should get a response.
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Responding to negative info in a social media environment: Follow these four steps:
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* Engage early, engage often. * Monitor the conversation * Evaluate negative messages * Respond appropriately
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Crisis Management Plan 1
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This plan outlines communication tasks and responsibilities, which can include everything from media contacts to news release templates. The plan should clearly specify which people r authorized to speak for the company, provide contact information for all key executives, and include a list of the news outlets and social media tools that will be use to disseminate information.
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Anticipation and planning
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r key to successful communication in a crisis.
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Rejecting job applications:
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* Personalize the email message or letter by using the recipient’s name. * Open with a courteous expression of appreciation for having applied. * Convey the negative news politely and concisely. * Avoid explaining why an applicant was rejected or why other applicants were chosen instead. * Do not state or imply that the application will be reviewed at a later date. * Close with positive wishes for the applicant’s career success.
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Performance Review 1
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r designed to clarify job requirements, gives employees feedback on their performance relative to those requirements, and establish a personal plan of action to ensure continued performance in the future.
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By giving employees clear goals and regular feedback,
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u can help avoid unpleasant surprises in a performance review.
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Negative evaluations
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should provide careful documentation of performance concerns.
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Giving negative performance reviews:
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* Document performance problems * Evaluate all employees consistently * Write in a calm, objective voice * Focus on opportunities for improvements. * Keep job descriptions up to date.
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Terminating employment:
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* State u reasons accurately and make sure they r objectively verifiable. * Avoid statements that might expose u company to a wrongful termination lawsuit. * Consult company lawyers to clarify all terms of the separation. * Deliver the letter in person if at all possible. * End the relationship on terms as positive as possible.
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When you need to deliver bad? news, you have five? goals:
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(1) to convey the bad? news, (2) to gain acceptance for? it, (3) to maintain as much goodwill as possible with your? audience, (4) to maintain a good image for your? organization, and? (5) if? appropriate, to reduce or eliminate the need for future correspondence on the matter.
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A negative message using the direct approach opens with the bad? news,
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proceeds to the reasons for the situation or? decision, offers any additional information that may help the? audience, and ends with a positive statement aimed at maintaining a good relationship with the audience.
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When selecting the right medium and channel for delivering bad news to an? employee, you should do all of the following EXCEPT? ______________.
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When you need to convey negative? news, you may assume that your audience does not want to hear what you have to say. Using one channel dash- preferably in person dash- is enough.
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You should take the direct approach when delivering bad news when any of the following statements is true EXCEPT when? ______________.
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The direct approach is fine for many business situations in which people understand the possibility of receiving bad news.? However, if the bad news might come as a disappointment to? readers, use the indirect approach to help them prepare for it.
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After planning and writing a negative? message, you should NOT? ____________.
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You should deliver messages promptly. Withholding or delaying bad news can be? unethical, even illegal.
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Two or more people who share a mission and the responsibility for working to achieve a common goal are called? __________.
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A team is a unit of two or more people who share a mission and the responsibility for working to achieve a common goal. When teams are? successful, they can improve? productivity, creativity, employee? involvement, and even job security.
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?__________ are the interactions and processes that take place among the members of a team.
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The interactions and processes that take place among the members of a team are called group dynamics. Group dynamics are influenced by several? factors: the roles team members? assume, the current phase of team? development, the? team’s success in resolving? conflict, and the? team’s success in overcoming resistance.
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Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of working in? teams?
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Aligning? schedules, arranging? meetings, and coordinating individual parts of a project can eat up a lot of time and money.
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Teams that display? ___________________ can get bogged down in conflict or waste time and resources pursuing unclear goals.
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poor communication and a lack of trust. Two of the most common reasons cited for unsuccessful teamwork are lack of trust and poor communication.
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When conflict forces important issues into the? open, increases the involvement of team? members, and generates creative ideas for solving a? problem, conflict can be seen as? _______________________.
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constructive. Teamwork is not necessarily about happiness and? harmony; even teams that have some interpersonal friction can excel with effective leadership and with team players committed to strong results.
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What condition describes peer pressures that cause individual team members to withhold contrary or unpopular? opinions?
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Groupthink. Business teams can generate tremendous pressures to conform with accepted norms of? behavior, causing individuals to withhold contrary or unpopular opinions. This behavior is called? “groupthink.”
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When conference participants are in different? locations, ________ ?enable(s) realistic conferences to take place.
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Telepresence enables realistic conferences in which participants thousands of miles apart almost seem to be in the same room.
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By using? __________, companies can conduct? “idea campaigns” to generate new ideas from people across the organization.
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One of the newest virtual tools is online? brainstorming, in which a company can conduct? “idea campaigns” to generate new ideas from people across the organization. Online brainstorming is often used as part of? web-based meetings.
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The type of meeting that can dramatically reduce costs and resource? usage, reduce wear and tear on? employees, and give teams access to a wider pool of expertise is conducted? ___________.
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Virtual meetings take place online rather than in person and offer many benefits like those mentioned here.
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Understanding and retaining the information in the? speaker’s message is the primary goal of? __________.
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The primary goal of content listening is to understand and retain the information in the? speaker’s message. Because? you’re not evaluating the information at this? point, it? doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree.
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One of the most common barriers to effective listening is tuning out parts of a message. This is called? __________.
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Selective listening is one of the most common barriers to effective listening. If your mind? wanders, you may stay tuned out until you hear a word or phrase that gets your attention again.
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Effective listeners make a conscious effort to turn off their own filters and biases to truly hear and understand what the other party is? saying; they are engaged in? ______________ listening.
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Effective listeners try to engage in active? listening, making a conscious effort to turn off their own filters and biases to truly hear and understand what the other party is saying.
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Which of the following lists the steps of effective listening in order from first to? last?
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The listening process involves five steps in this? order: (1) receiving? (physically hearing the? message), (2) decoding? (assigning meaning to what you? hear), (3) remembering? (storing the message for future? reference), (4) evaluating? (thinking about the? message), and? (5) responding? (reacting to the? message, taking? action, or giving? feedback).

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