I struggle with giving people bad news – though I would also like to emphasize that I am not afraid to give people bad news. In point of fact, as an HR guy I have lived so often in the soup of bad news delivery (in the same way that .1. I don’t know how or why I came up with that analogy (or what percentage of the people reading this it will even make sense to), but let’s just go with it.frosted flakes live in milk 1) as to occasionally call it home. With that said, so much as I have grown accustomed to delivering unsavory prognostications as a function of my profession, I still can’t shake the awful feeling I have whenever I must do so.
See, I like people; particularly good people. And I hate giving good people bad .2. Lately I have decided that I enjoy starting sentences with conjunctions like “and”. This is technically not okay (well, actually it’s not settled), but I’m trying some new things and have begun to cast aside progressively more grammar rules in the name of writing in my (0ccasionally disjointed) voice. Is that okay? Say it’s okay.news. 2
To this point, today I have to give some bad news. It isn’t awful news, granted, but it isn’t delightful either. Namely, several of my directs have been asking for additional help for a while now. They feel we’re a team member short and have asked for a headcount increase of one. After being asked about this by the team off and on (but often enough) for the past couple of months, I finally brought the proposal to my boss only to receive a polite-but-oh-so-resounding-enough “no”. Fair enough. That’s the way it goes sometimes.
…So everyone has to keep working a little bit harder. In this economy (improving but not yet quite pre-2008 levels) that’s to be expected.
But there is still the bad news delivery.
…I believe in authenticity and transparency. My belief in at least one of these things (and perhaps two) is at least a little naive, but I stand by them nonetheless. Ergo, I said I would follow up and meant what I said (so I did). I will also be transparent with the result of my inquires (there was a “no”). This news will not go over well, and there will be some bawling and protestations… but people will get over it.
Why am I telling you this, you ask? Because in HR we do a lot of management couching, but much of what we counsel is easier said than done. This morning, I just felt that it would be useful to point this fact out in this space.
Happy Wednesday, and as always please share your thoughts in the comments section below.