Delivering bad news is never an easy thing for a leader to do or for their team members and colleagues to receive. However, it’s one crucial responsibility of a good leader. Thus, there isn’t any way to avoid these kinds of interactions when the issue needs to be addressed. Bad news may need to be delivered as it pertains to demotion, letting go of an employee, or addressing an employee’s behavior on the job.

Take Responsibility

Leaders should always take responsibility for the news they are about to deliver. Pointing fingers and blaming others will only make delivering the news less palatable for the receiver. Therefore, it’s important for good leaders to always take accountability for their mistakes and apologize for them. This demonstrates personal courage.

Be Considerate

There’s not really any correct way to receive bad news. This news may come as a complete shock to the employee. Good leaders also consider the implications of delivering the bad news and the impact that this bad news will have on the employee. Leaders should also offer reassurance and emotional support while their employees process the news.

Don’t Rush It

Leaders should schedule a time to have a discussion with their team, especially when delivering bad news. It wouldn’t be ethical to simply dump bad news onto a person and then leave the scene. Make time for employees to ask questions and also provide them with constructive feedback that they can use to make improvements.

Brace for Reaction

Depending on the magnitude of the bad news and the person, employees may react differently. Unexpected bad news can provoke very deep emotion. So, prepare for the worst and expect the best.


Employees still have the right to voice their frustrations or disdain to the leader. Not all disagreement constitutes an argument. Good leaders allow their employees and colleagues to ask questions. By listening to one’s concerns, leaders can accommodate better for their employees and find areas where they can improve in their leadership.

Speak Up

Some people have a hard time speaking up especially to tell a person something they may not want to hear. It’s vital that leaders do not tiptoe around the topic or dismiss the issue. This will only prolong the problem and create further dilemmas in the workplace.