How to Write Negative Messages
in a Positive Way?
Mr. Zahid Hassan Khan
C501: Managerial Communication
Chowdhury Rashdi Al Rashid
MBA 45 D
INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
UNIVERSITY OF DHAKA
20 June, 2011
Communication in today’s business place has become more complex. And negative message make thing even more complex. A negative message is any message to which the reader will have an unpleasant emotional reaction. Readers find negative messages disappointing or threatening in some way. Such messages require special care to avoid damaging the quality of the relationship because the negative message – “the bad news” will hurt the reader’s feelings or cause him or her to lose face. (C. Bovee 2010) Not all messages saying no are negative. For a message to be negative, the reader’s ego must be involved in the outcome. If a reader requests information you and others in your organization are not equipped to provide, for example, the reader’s feelings will not be hurt when you direct him or her elsewhere. Treat messages of this variety as you would a message conveying positive information: state the most important information first, and use it to help establish rapport with the reader. (Limaye 1997) Also, be aware that saying no is more serious in some cultures than it is in others. The Japanese, for example, will avoid saying no directly, and if they are unable to avoid a negative reply, they will often apologize for the negative message. Communicating negative information effectively requires greater cultural sensitivity than does communicating something positive. Before writing, do your best to ensure that you understand the cultural implications of the message and the expectations of your audience. Objective:
Primary objective of this term paper is to learn, how to make negative messages in a positive way. To make negative massage in a positive way, in this report we will look at these three things: 1. Understanding Direct and indirect approach of negative message 2. Situational factor to consider while crafting negative message 3. Practical implication of theory in crafting negative messages in a Positive way (example of practical negative letters) Methodology:
This report is entirely based on secondary data. Here by negative message we are referring to only written messages (non verbal). In this report firstly we will focus on negative message structure. we will see, when to use direct approach and when to use indirect approach. We will also see other specific “do” and “do not” in case of writing negative messages. Then we will look at the general structure for conveying negative messages. And after that several examples of negative messages are analyzed in this report.
Creating Negative Messages:
Choose the better approach.
Consider using the direct approach when the audience is aware of the possibility of negative news, when the reader is not emotionally involved in the message, when you know that the reader would prefer the bad news first, when you know that firmness is necessary, and when you want to discourage a response. [ (C. Bovee 2010) ] Consider using the indirect approach when the news is likely to come as a shock or surprise, when your audience has a high emotional investment in the outcome, and when you want to maintain a good relationship with the audience.
Checklist for choosing direct or Indirect Approach
1. Will the news be shocking? - If the user is going to be very shocked, use the indirect approach to give the message more gently. 2. How Important is the news? - If the news is urgent and the user needs to know the news quickly, then be direct. If the new is emotionally or personally very important, indirect. 3. Do you need to get the reader's attention? - If you need to quickly get the user's attention, then be direct....