November 27, 2018

At some point in your career, you need to deliver bad news.

The good news is that it’s possible to take a seemingly negative situation and turn it into an advantage. 

The “framing” of a situation – the lens you put on to understand specific circumstances – can change how you see a situation. For example, instead of, “Unfortunately, we cannot show you our new model before November,” say, “We can show you our new model in November.” Small changes in wording can make a significant difference.

This concept can be applied to scores of everyday obstacles: You have delivery problems? Demand is exploding. Are you facing resistance to your decisions? Effective changes are always hard to implement. Did you lose a customer? A new generation of influential customers is replacing the old ones. 

Your own perception of success or failure plays a crucial role in how you frame a situation and how you respond to others. Frame your response to a situation in a way that causes the other party involved to see the upsides, or at least still see the positive effort on your part. Yes, some bad news you can’t frame positively – but most of the time, what you’re about to say doesn’t need to be as bad as you think.

SOURCE: Fast Company (11/13/18); adapted from Convinced! How to Prove Your Competence and Win People Over by Jack Nasher