Transform contraints into opportunities

Fear of upsetting people, of provoking anger or dejection, of entering into conflict, afraid of not knowing how to explain things, how to respond to questions...Having to announce disagreeable or unpopular news can make us hesitant and maladroit. However, by trying to soften the news we lose impact and credibility.
Personal engagement: the "I" word
Saying "I" rather than "they" or "the directors" is to assume responsibility as a manager, even if you didn't make the decision yourself.
It shows that you are ready to talk about topics that are difficult or even "explosive"! It also sustains the image that your team has of you.
In the video, Alan's engagement is also expressed non-verbally: he looks at his team members, he speaks clearly...       
Don't try to put "a positive spin" on the news       
It is better to anticipate possible reluctance among your team members, to recognize it and give it its due value, rather than trying to ignore or to minimize it. This is a way of creating common ground, and of soothing whatever nascent hostility there may be. It is also more effective to accept the fact that the situation is difficult, and not to try reassure people immediately. In such a context, saying "it's not a big deal" only invites your team's wrath.       
Defining the objective: your aim is not only to make an announcement...       
When a manager announces bad news, it's not just a matter of saying what and why, but especially one of responding to your team's questions, sometimes one of giving meaning to the news, and/or looking ahead to the future: the objective is not the announcement but the after-announcement!       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   Perspective merger
Certain departments are merging, including yours. You know that the majority of your collaborators will see this negatively. What do you do?
You are expecting an outcry and, first, prefer to send an informative email. You will organise a meeting once they have digested the news.
This is a normal reaction but with a high risk. Not only do you announce bad news but you give the impression you are running away from any questions / reactions and this will only serve to increase dissatisfaction.
You get the team together and announce the news in a positive and pleasant manner: "we are among the teams who are moving forward, and we are merging to have a better synergy with the L&R department..." 
The intention to announce this in a positive manner is commendable, but it could provoke even fiercer opposition: it is too early to expect the team to be happy; they will need to digest the news.
You get the team together:"you will probably be alarmed with the news I am about to announce: we are merging with the L&R department."
This approach seems surprising as it highlights something upsetting. It is, indeed, paradoxical but more suitable for the eventual feeling of the team. Once the negative reactions have been heard, we can then present the positive aspects of the situation.
You ask for the support of your superior in announcing the news to the team, you think they will accept it better
Probably not a good idea! The team will not understand why you don't' announce the news personally and your credibility will be undermined.
2 / 3   How do you bring matters up?
Among the following guidelines, which seems most appropriate when announcing bad news?  
Diminishing the negative aspect of the news
This is not a good idea! This will only reinforce the deception or the anger of the team.
First explain the context
This is risky! Your interlocutors will see where you are coming from and the pressure will mount.
First address the unpleasant side of the news
Yes, this is the technique of preemption: we anticipate the reaction and show that we are aware of the problem. We can then clarify the news in a more positive tone.
3 / 3   A rebellion
You have just announced to the team that your organisation proposition hasn't been accepted by management. The team attacks you head on: "Anyway, you are not capable of defending our interests! What do you say to this? 
Of course, I defended our interests ...but I’m not the one who decides!
Dangerous! You are escaping the situation: this will only increase the frustration. First, it would be better to show that you understand their feelings. 
What makes you think that I didn't stick up for you?
You counter-attack and are looking for a fight.
Obviation, I didn't reach the objective I set and I understand that you feel it's my fault
Courages! It is not easy to admit we have made a mistake but absolutely necessary (without making too much of it!). This will allow everyone to express their grievances and clear the way to talk about the next step in a constructive manner.
You do nothing. You act as if you hadn't heard anything. The frustration will calm down eventually.
Really not sure about this! On the contrary you risk fanning the flames.
Your score is
You finished!
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