Communicating Negative Messages: Delivering Bad News Skillfully

Online Course: ID# 1003082
About This Course:
No business communicator enjoys delivering bad news, which will usually disappoint, irritate, or sometimes anger those who receive it. But at one time or another, all professionals will be faced with the unpleasant task of having to deny customers’ requests, reject applications for credit, inform employees of policy changes, or tell job applicants that they have not been hired.

Bad-news messages must be delivered carefully, with the ultimate goal being acceptance of the message by those to whom it is directed.

This online course identifies the steps to follow when communicating negative messages using either the direct or indirect approach. The course explains and gives examples of strategies for buffering the bad news before it is delivered, relating the bad news in a manner designed to lessen the pain it might cause, and closing the message in a manner that maintains the message receiver’s good will.

Business Professionals

90 minutes

PURPOSE: To instruct business professionals in the techniques and strategies needed to communicate negative or unwelcome news effectively and tactfully to colleagues, clients, and customers.


After completing this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Identify the goals for delivering bad news to colleagues, clients, and customers
  • Recognize and avoid potential legal problems associated with delivering negative messages in the workplace
  • Recognize the components of typical negative messages
  • Implement the direct and indirect patterns of delivering bad news
  • Select and use strategies for refusing routine requests
  • craft and deliver bad-news messages to customers and clients while maintaining their good will
  • Craft and deliver bad-news messages to an organization’s employees and job applicants
  1. General Guidelines for Crafting and Delivering Negative Messages
  2. Legal Pitfalls to Avoid When Delivering Bad News
  3. Buffering Bad News Messages
  4. Explaining Bad News
  5. How to Communicate the Bad-News Message using the Indirect Method
  6. Closing a Bad News Message Appropriately
  7. How to Deliver Bad News Directly
  8. Strategies for Delivering Bad News to Customers
  9. How to Communicate Bad News to Employees and Job Applicants



This program has been approved for 1.5 recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, visit the HR Certification Institute homepage at

(The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of this program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.)


This course (approval number: 9626054) has been approved for 1.00 hours of continuing education credit in the areas of HR or ELECTIVES, DISTANCE by the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. For more information about continuing education for Community Association Managers, visit the Council's homepage at

Communicating Negative Messages: Delivering Bad News Skillfully
Price: $14.25
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