Giving Your Boss Bad News in the Right Way

People make mistakes and accidents happen: These are not things to be embarrassed or ashamed of. But when it comes to telling your boss the best approach is to be clear, controlled, and accurate. Convey bad news to your boss appropriately and professionally by:




1. Holding the discussion in a private space.

Only people who are involved in the situation should be at the meeting. Do not discuss the incident casually with unrelated co-workers.

2. Taking emotions out of the situation.

Keep the conversational non-confrontational and speak rationally. Remember that you are at work and in a professional setting, so leave your emotions at the door.

3. Speaking only the facts.

A situation will never be resolved if you beat around the bush. Get straight to the point and stick with the facts. Lying or trying to minimize the situation will only make things worse and prolong the solution process.

4. Taking out the blame.

Blaming others only makes any situation worse. Avoid making accusations – it prolongs the solution process and can make you appear dishonest and incapable of owning up to your own mistakes.

5. Bringing solutions.

Don’t simply lay the bad news on your boss and walk away. Be able to offer him/her potential solutions or alternatives. Show your boss that you are proactive and taking the situation seriously.

Sharing bad news with anyone is never a fun thing but the sooner you move from a conversation of “problem” to one of “solution” the faster the situation will move one.

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