If you have been leading for a long time, you've had bad news to give to someone else or to the entire team. I do realize that there is "bad news" and there is "seriously-work-and-life-changing-bad-news", but regardless of the depth, leaders worry about the impact the news will have on the psyche, attitude and motivation of their teams. While this is a legitimate to be concerned about, there are a few things to think about that will change your approach to your expectations, as well as your outcomes if you are to carry bad information. Before Your Start... It will happen. First and foremost, as I've already said (and you already know) bad news is bound to be revealed. As leader, you should not be shocked by the fact that you've got a difficult message to deliver, and you must be ready to deliver it. Don't wait. Doing nothing can make things better It heavy usually makes it worse. We all know this. Share what you know, once you've mastered it. How bad is it? The truth about this depends in large part on your personal perspective. There's no doubt that there are instances in your life where you thought news was bad, and that with the wisdom that comes from experience, that "bad" thing either wasn't quite as bad as you imagined or actually became something good. Be aware of this as you plan to convey the message. Take a look at the entire view. It could be a bad situation but is it really bad? If you frame it as negative from the start the chance of you (or any other person) being able to see anything other than the negative are greatly reduced. Before you communicate the message, ensure that you are seeing the message from all angles first. When Delivering the News... Acknowledge the bad, take it all in. In the final point I advised you to get a broader perspective on the current situation and news. I am not suggesting you over-simplify the situation or make things appear better than they are. I suggest that you help people understand the whole picture - warts, scars and also the potential. Your aim is to communicate the message clearly and assist the team move past it. Without a 360-degree view, it's harder for them to move forward. Shut up and allow people to ask questions. It's really two tips in one, however the first must be followed before you can proceed to the second. You should make your remarks and then talk about the news, then shut up. Of course, the more you speak, the more sour you will make it. Understanding and acceptance come from conversations, not listening. Ask your friends concerns about the news - the content and the implications. Allow people to let people vent. Based on the content that the media is reporting, some people could be upset, angry or discontent. They should be able to let their emotions out. It's been proven when negative emotions are kept up, they get bigger, worse and more explosive. Let people share their concerns and remember that your job isn't just to justify the situation, explain it the issue or "fix", just to allow them to talk. Focus in the near future. The news is out, and the facts are the facts. Nothing can be changed right now. In order to motivate your team to move forward you must help your team to move beyond the news to look ahead to what's coming next. You might need multiple meetings for people to push forward. Depending on the current news the process could take some time. In every interaction with both the team and the individuals assist them in focusing on the future. This is something they can control. Moving Forward... The art of crafting and communicating the message isn't what you're looking to accomplish here. The issue isn't simply disseminating the bad news however, doing it in a way that it doesn't de-motivate your employees. If you have done these two things, you're moving in the right direction, but as a leader you must continue to keep your team's attention at the future and what they can accomplish regardless of, or even in spite of, the disappointing news. It's true that, depending on what the story is, people wrightmarshall might need to grieve, but sitting in sorrow for too long is what you were concerned about in the first place. Help people get their heads up and forward, since the past is no longer relevant and they only have the power to shape the future. The focus on the future will bring the motivation, energy and greater future results that you and the whole team desire. Meet leaders from all over the world as a part The Remarkable Leader Learning System. Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a consultancy firm for learning that assists clients realize their potential through different training and consultation, and training.