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Why You Need to Hear the Bad News First

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 3, 2008

Surprises in business are not a good thing. For a manager and supervisor, surprises are always best when they come with some warning. Of course, that almost never happens. The good news is that facing a tough, unexpected situation head-on yields some of the best learning and experience you will ever get.

When faced with good news and bad news, always ask for the bad news first. Good news is good; bad news, particularly to a business, is critical. There is no need for anyone to be hesitant or coy about telling you what you need to know. Share bad news in time to do something about it. It might not change the ultimate outcome of a situation, but often there are things you can do to alter the conditions or negotiate a better result.

Be proactive when and wherever you can. This means never stop asking questions, seeking solutions, and being prepared.

Mallary Tytel
President and Founder
Healthy Workplaces
Sioux Falls, S.D.

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