Delivering Bad News in a Better Way

Government exists to provide for the common welfare. That means government is usually in the business of resolving conflicts for the greater good – or at least it’s supposed to. The greater good is frequently complex and almost always means compromise or some kind of consensus. But even when public institutions do that well, some people come out on the short end of the stick – they come away with less than what they might have hoped for. At some point government organizations will always be delivering bad news (or less than great news) to someone. Maintaining credibility and trust means delivering that news well. Here are the three fundamental rules.