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The Good News is that you have BAD news

It will happen. It is possible to deliver some bad news. You may not be able to complete all your projects. You want to be able to deliver bad news when they don’t. The way you deliver the news can have a huge impact on how the world perceives you as a leader, what happens next and how your professional relationships are strengthened.
Take a look at the following scenario, and then answer the short quiz to see how you react. Now you have learned that a key customer has put all future work with your company on hold. The customer contributed 25% to your organization’s earnings over the next six-months. This news is very distressing for you, and it will also be distressing to your management.
1. What is your first thing?
A. Your manager should be notified that you have bad news and they need to speak with you immediately.
B. B.
C. Take some time to review this information and then schedule time with your manager to have a discussion.
D. Wait for a few days and do nothing. Perhaps the customer will make a decision to continue with future purchases as planned.
2. You prepare to deliver the news, but you also decide to share three other great ideas with customers for projects that could bring in new business. This is an example:
A. You are not responsible for proposing project ideas and you are therefore exceeding your boundaries.
B. You bring solutions and communicate bad news.
C. You are trying to distract from the bad news by presenting other potentially positive news.
D. You are trying to protect your job, and get your next promotion.
3. Before you start to talk about the negative news about the customer or the on-hold projects, you decide to say something positive to your manager.
A. A.
B. “We can reduce overtime,” B.
C. “Soon, we won’t have to deal with one our most demanding customers.”
D. Nothing, there is no positive comment you can make.
4. You are not too concerned about the news about the customer, even though it is upsetting. You tell your manager this, despite it being upsetting.
A. A.
B. B.
D. “I will let you alone to come up with solutions.”
5. Your manager happens to be walking to the cafeteria. You decide to:
A. As you take her to the cafeteria, tell her the bad news.
B. B.
C. Approach her at the busy sandwich station and tell the news.
D. Follow her to the cafeteria’s table and tell her as she eats.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts. Next week, we will discuss the answers and look closer at how to present bad news at your workplace. In the meantime if you would like to learn more and earn a PDU check out ‘How to Deliver Difficult News’ over on, there is an audio version: and a video version: