Negative Business Letter

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NEGATIVE BUSINESS MESSAGES Writing Tasks A negative message is one that conveys unpleasant, disappointing or unfavourable information for the receiver. It should resolve the business issue but retain/maintain customer goodwill. You could choose the direct or the indirect plan for writing the negative business message. Saying ‘no’ is more serious in some cultures than in others. You require to use cultural sensitivity. Message delivery mode – negative messages of high importance are usually delivered in person. Additionally, for the record, written record is necessary. Use the indirect plan if:  The reader expects a positive response  The negative message will affect the reader personally  The negative message is of importance and the reader will react negatively  The reader prefers indirect communication for cultural reasons Use the direct plan if:  The negative message will be expected/is routine  The negative information needs to be emphasized  Your reader prefers directness – you know him/her Example: Routine -a schedule change for a monthly staff meeting, organizational policy changes that have a neutral or minimal negative effect, a second or third notice of an overdue account. Most negative messages follow the indirect plan. If a negative message will cause injury to the receiver’s ego, it may harm business relations; you may lose the client’s goodwill. Example - credit refusals, refusal of request from a long term customer. When writing negative messages – adapt the message to the receiver’s viewpoint, emphasize positive bias-free words, show respect for the receiver’s interests.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR WRITING NEGATIVE MESSAGES – INDIRECT PLAN Example: for refusing claims, refusing requests, unfavourable decisions, or unsolicited unpleasant information.

Steps: 1. Determine content – each communication situation must be analyzed to determine primary and secondary purposes and the basic content. What ideas could you use for the opening? Can...
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