Bad News Packaged Positively Gets Results

My wife and daughter who had been away had just arrived back home from visiting our parents. I no longer needed to give updates on what happened in a certain Filipino series via the phone. I was enjoying that 1 year old smile from my daughter who kept running back to me for another one of her many hugs since they arrived. I was a happy man until that loud-mouth of my second born son walked in and said, “Mummy! Daddy can’t cook. He cooked us rice that had black things in it“. I needed to say something fast. I wanted to go the Gladiator way of “Are you not entertained?” but the voice in her look hushed me.

Now, my son was referring to what happened the previous day when I tried cooking them a Christmas meal. I burnt the rice and I worried that they would refuse to eat it. So I added a bit too much sauce in the gravy which I poured into the pot with the rice. To encourage them to eat, I summoned all the leadership lessons gathered from books and motivational movies and said, “this is rice with a touch of smoke and sauce“. They ate the burnt offering and left nothing. They said the food tasted different but was nice. Now where did the “daddy can’t cook” come from?

People with influence need to realize that things will not always go according to plan. What we choose to be in those moments when things go wrong, determines whether we succeed or not. Do you assert your authority with a “get it done!” tone or you find a positive tone that still motivates results? Whatever you choose might get you the desired results. The difference is in how you get perceived afterwards. In my story, I could have told my boys, “you better eat your food or no TV for you“. This was also going to work, but they were going to look at me as a father who forces them to eat terrible food. The approach I took worked on their mind and created a positive curiosity to taste this touch of smoke. Food that was not supposed to taste good suddenly tasted great.

How you package your message matters – especially bad news. You have the power to make the team win or lose. Bad news deflates people. It dampens people’s moods and morale. If not handled well, bad news has the potential to bring a project to a complete halt. You have to be thoughtful and deliberate in the way you deliver it. Your body language and tone of voice should mirror exactly what you want to happen after everyone has come to terms with the bad news. Are you painting an optimistic picture or a gloomy one? Remember, the aim is to achieve the same goal you set before things went wrong.

Packaging bad news in a positive way will most likely get you the results you seek. A subordinate who says you cannot surpass your competitor while blaming other stakeholders will alienate partners. Stakeholders will respect, listen and support someone who says, “we have an opportunity to catch up and surpass our competition. This can be done by…”

Present problems as opportunities and watch the magic happen. Minds that were supposed to complain embrace positive thinking as they seek solutions. They start seeing possibilities everywhere. Goals get achieved.

They might later realize that you manipulated them but they will also appreciate you and your leadership style of handling difficult times. They would rather have you in the next crisis than anyone else. Click here to see how you will be appreciated.

Bad news packaged in a positive way really does get results.


How about buying me some coffee?

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18 thoughts on “Bad News Packaged Positively Gets Results

  1. * deep breath * I’m going to try this, so let me know how I do, ok? This is just practice, so go easy on me.

    Here you go Mr Introvert, a nice cup of poison! Yummm! It will cure all of your problems and hydrate you. Wouldn’t you like a second cup?

    How’s that? I feel like something’s off in my presentation, but am not sure what? Any tips would be appreciated ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Your presentation is fine Mr Bookstooge. Too fine. And yes, a second cup would be lovely.๐Ÿ‘

      Waiting for the “cure all of your problems” bit to take effect๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Frankly, the “daddy can’t cook” bit got to me so bad that I had to find a positive side to the whole thing.

      This is me owning my story. If Harry did it, I too can “did it” ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

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