The Devil Made Me Do It
It's fun to convey good news. 'You're getting the account you've wanted.' 'I've arranged for technical support for your project.' 'Your work looks very good this month.' 'Look for an unexpected bonus in your next paycheck.'
Who doesn't like to give these messages to direct reports? But what about the other side? What happens when you have to tell employees that the new reality is what they didn't want or never expected? 'Your hours will be cut starting next week.' 'You'll have to move to a different classroom.' 'Your job is ending.' These are the messages that none of us looks forward to delivering, but when the time comes, how do we measure up? There are many ways to deliver any kind of news, but two distinct perspectives prevail:
- This isn't my idea. My boss made me do it. I don't agree with it. It's not my fault.
- Here are the circumstances that led to this decision. It's our reality and your (change in position, salary, loss of job, etc.) is a result of the situation.
Probably not, and in the end will likely be viewed as a weak player. The second approach says, 'While I might not like this, I stand behind it and I'll help you understand what led to it.' This is the style of a strong leader, one who can be trusted. Taking the hard but high road gets both the supervisor and the employee to a better place.