- DON’T TELL STORIES
- DON’T BLAME OTHERS
- DO SUGGEST POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
You have to tell your boss the bad news: you missed the deadline, a bad mistake, you lost the contract, etc. It is critical to do it well—your career might just depend on how you handle these situations. Here are some suggestions:
START OFF WITH THE BAD NEWS
The very worst thing you can do is tell your boss a long story ending with the bad news. Start with “I have some bad news….” Then get right to it, “we lost the contract,” “we are being sued,”” we can’t meet the deadline,” and so on.
It is tempting to put off doing something painful or unpleasant. Do it as soon as you have all the information.
DON’T BLAME ANYONE
Avoid criticizing members of your staff or other departments.
ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY
You are much wiser to take responsibility for what happened. Your boss, if he or she is any good, will know exactly why it happened and who did it.
SUGGEST SOME SOLUTIONS
Have some ideas on how to resolve the problem. The focus of your discussion with your boss should be on what to do next.