What is it about bad news?
It sells well, travels fast and seems to catch our attention. Our 24-hour news cycle is unfortunately built on it. Despite all the views to the contrary there is nothing wrong with communication in most companies. All and every staff survey will put communication at the top of things to improve, and yet bad news will get around a team at the speed of gossip.
Organisations leak news and despite all the efforts to maintain secrecy, people inevitably know something about what is going on.
Many leaders endeavor to cloak everything on a ‘need to know’ basis, as if there is a risk of everyone knowing what’s going on. The trouble with this is, people talk and if there is bad news brewing, they will automatically assume the very worst.
So even if you have dire news, let people know, be transparent, go broad in your reach for ideas and input, and trust your team to handle it well.
Have one plan; make it very open and transparent, super simple and easy to understand. Have honesty and integrity; be open in your communications and help define reality, you’ll be surprised how that builds respect and garners an appropriate response.
Open transparent communication, will create a level of trust and engagement, that transcends bad news, and can unlock solutions and foster creativity.