Never be a Communication Coward

turtleA colleague recently related to me that she was told by a client of more than 10 years that her services were no longer needed – via e-mail.

Technology makes it simple for us to duck the tough stuff.

It’s not easy to relay bad news in person or over the phone; it’s much easier to send an impersonal e-mail or text message.

But if you were the person receiving the bad news, how would you feel?

Inconsequential? Insulted? Bitter? Vengeful?

None of these are feelings we want to have associated with ourselves or our organizations.

When communicating bad news to someone with whom we have an established business relationship – client, supplier, employee, contractor – it’s important to do what’s respectful and right, not what’s convenient or easy.

This means delivering the news in person (or, if distance is an issue, over the phone), being compassionate, offering to help and responding to questions.

When it comes to communicating bad news, people may not like what we have to say, but they will respect us for how we say it.

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