A Better Way to Deliver Bad News

You've heard complaints that a direct report isn't delegating enough to his own subordinates. How to deliver corrective feedback without triggering defensiveness? Use an open-minded, fair approach.

For example, don't suggest that the employee is too controlling. There may be other explanations, such as he doesn't know how to delegate. Instead, frame your concerns broadly. Say: "I don't know if you're aware of this -- or if it's true -- but I've heard that Frank and Joan are eager to take on more responsibility. What do you think?"

You've delivered fair feedback drawn from relevant information, and you've communicated respect and a willingness to listen. He won't likely become defensive.

Today's Management Tip of the Day was adapted from the HBR article, "A Better Way to Deliver Bad News," by Jean-Fran├žois Manzoni.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  August 11, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
Previous: Green Gets Complicated | Next: The Beijing Brand


Please email us to report offensive comments.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company