"A fresh mind keeps the body fresh. Take in the ideas of the day, drain off those of yesterday. As to the morrow, time enough to consider it when it becomes today: - Edward G Bulwer-Lytton
- Be accurate, straight forward, and speak with empathy.
- Don't apologize. You can't control things. Apologizing may make you look guilty or weak.
- Be willing to listen. Say what you need to and be quiet. Respond to questions and don't be afraid to admit that you don't have all the answers.
- Give people time to reflect on information. Reconvene later when they have had time to process.
- Check in periodically with your team to feel their pulse and let them know that you are available.
- Communication frequently and relay the same message. Be consistent.
- Don't deliver news and then act as if nothing has changed. In the minds of others, A LOT has changed and they are probably thinking about it constantly.
- Encourage people to talk to one another. Whether news affects one person or a whole company, people need each other and need to communicate as a community.
- Let people grieve individually or as a group. However, don't allow it to persist or it will spread negativity.
- Offer solutions whenever possible. Offer timing for further communications and stick to it.
- Take about next steps and what you see the future holding in a bright light - but be honest and don't embellish!
- Remind people that problems, failures, negative situations help us to all grow and together we will all get thorough some tough times.
When you lead, no matter what your role, you are in the drivers seat and set the tone, pace, environment, and maybe even the outcome of delivering negative information. Put yourself in the place of the person on the other end and think about how you would want to hear information. I know that I want the truth up front and want to know my options and how I will be affected. I also want to know how my inner circle will be affected as well. After all, teams support each other!
What will you do to change how you deliver negative information going forward? How will you take the lead in controlling the "drainage"?