How to Be Good at Giving Bad News in the Workplace

[ad_1] Workplace shootings and other types of workplace violence have received much attention in the media recently. Although the circumstances surrounding these incidents vary, these violent workplace episodes are often the result of situations in which employees, customers, or other individuals are the recipients of bad news. An example would be an employee who was fired, laid off, or failed a drug test, and reacted negatively to the news.

For many of us, giving bad news is part of our jobs. Unfortunately, when you deliver bad news, you may trigger agitated or even aggressive behavior from the recipient.

According to a fact sheet recently released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 there were 421 workplace shootings and 30 multiple-fatality workplace homicide events. Of these, 12 percent involved coworkers and former coworkers as the assailants.

Almost half of these shootings occurred in public buildings; most occurred in the private sector. Eighty-eight percent of the incidents occurred in service-providing industries.

There are ways to deliver bad news while defusing a potential crisis and helping the recipient retain a sense of dignity. Whether you have to give bad news to a client, resident, patient, or coworker, follow these guidelines to prepare in advance and present the information in a way that is tactful and minimizes the possibility of negative reactions.

Prepare your workplace. Consider the furniture arrangement in your workspace. Ensure that it is set up so that you can exit easily if necessary. Do not ever turn your back on a person who is angry or angry.

Prepare yourself. When you deliver bad news, be prepared for the possibility of being accused or insulted if the person takes her anger or disappointment out on you. Try to stay in control and not take these reactions personally. If you become angry, that will only further agitate the other person.

Allow the other person to vent. Without offering advice or…

Sourced from by Erin Treder

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