Chapter 8 – Writing Negative Messages

Chapter 8 was, in many ways, a revelation to me. Not because of the subject matter, but because I realized that what I tend to do by instinct and intuition actually has a structure. 

Overall, I agreed with most of what the chapter discussed and the analysis it presented. I did think that there was a bit too much of an emphasis on the indirect approach in the chapter without also emphasizing the importance of clarity. I’ve found that the indirect approach can easily cause communication problems. For example, if the negative message in an indirect message isn’t quickly clear and understandable, you risk the recipient not understanding the message and then having to give the message again.

I also think that the chapter should have included a discussion on the the time value of the communication. Basically, giving a less than perfect message, but in a timely fashion, factors into maintaining a good relationship with the recipient.

3 thoughts on “Chapter 8 – Writing Negative Messages

  1. I definitely agree that too much emphasis was put on the indirect approach. People’s attention spans shrink by the day; you communicate with too many buffers, and they don’t care to read the news, good or bad. I also like your idea of a time factor. Whether you say it with finesse doesn’t matter if your news is a couple days’ late.

  2. I defintely agree with the possible problems that may occur when using the indirect approach. Often, people get too caught up in trying to ‘fluff-up’ the bad news that it takes away from the intended message. My experience is that, in general, colleagues prefer it when information is delivered to them simply, concisely, and factually.

  3. What wonderful thoughts you all share! I agree, of course, that there has to be a limit on how much or how long you drag out the buffering before you get to the bad news. Of course, there’s always my brother’s approach: do you want the bad news or the good news first? I always go for the bad first. Then, at least, I stand to be cheered up when the good news rolls in. I do wish the authors of this book could see all of your insightful comments, that includes everyone in the class.

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