Management Tip of the Day: Ways to give your boss bad news

Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:45am EST
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - When there is bad news to deliver to your boss it's best to get it out in the open rather than letting the situation fester. Accepting responsibility is a key part of the process, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"No one likes to deliver bad news. But sitting on problems, rather than putting them out in the open, only makes things worse.

Next time you have to tell your boss that something has gone wrong, try these four steps:

1. Describe. Provide a general overview of the problem, and explain the impact. Be sure to position this in terms of what matters to your manager.

2. Identify a solution. Recommend a specific solution or approach, along with alternatives.

3. Analyze your solution. Share the pros and cons and explain the implications. Be prepared to discuss the risks or barriers that may be of concern to your boss.

4. Accept responsibility. Let your manager know that you are willing to take the responsibility for the outcome of your proposed approach.

-Today's management tip was adapted from the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module, "Managing Upward."

(For the full post, see: here)

 
<p>A traders works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 25, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>