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How to break bad news

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HC Online | 17 Mar 2015, 07:50 AM Agree 0
One management professor says too many HR professionals don’t know how to deliver negative feedback. Here’s how to do it the right way.
  • Krista Jordan | 17 Mar 2015, 10:19 AM Agree 0
    I felt the body of the article and the general views expressed by Professor Manzoni were very positively focused on best outcomes for all parties. The subtleties in the way we deliver information and feedback can have a substantial effect on the success of the outcomes we would like to achieve. Given all of this I found it a little jarring in the early stages of the article with the use of the term 'subordinate', particularly when the article seeks to encourage us to have an 'open mind' and avoid 'narrowly framed feedback'. Having said that I am happy to concede that I would be unable to represent any ideas with any level of subtlety should be asked to deliver them in a language other than my native English.
  • Dave | 17 Mar 2015, 12:38 PM Agree 0
    Honest, direct communication leads to better outcomes than the games that Manzoni is suggesting.

    As per article on procedural fairness, it is important to understand the facts from other perspectives before suggesting solutions.

    The final example given is poor, it does not allow 'Lisa' to understand the issues or enable her the ability to modify her behaviours to meet the demands of the new role.

    HR is not everyone's friend and should not play games as it will bring the role into doubt.
  • Amanda Rochford | 17 Mar 2015, 01:58 PM Agree 0
    I had to laugh at the phrase "if she refuses to go along with your suggestions..." this is the kind of stupid communications that always leads to trouble. If you are making a suggestion then the other person is given a legitimate choice to either accept or reject. If its not a suggestion and it is in fact a directive then the other person does not have a choice. DONT pretend something is a choice when it isnt just to save yourself the emotional anguish of having to take responsibility for your own decisions.
  • Graham Firth | 17 Mar 2015, 09:39 PM Agree 0
    One of the issues to be addressed here is the use of the terms "negative feedback" and "bad news". If that's how the manager views it, then that's how it will come across. Telling someone that what they are delivering is not what you want should be a positive experience for them - it gives them the opportunity to discuss with you what they might do differently. Without that sort of discussion, the result may be a parting of the ways. I am a great believer in positive and corrective feedback - both of which should be a positive experience for the employee. I believe that far too many managers in Australia have never been trained in how to give effective corrective feedback, so they stuff it up and it becomes a negative experience for both parties.
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