Telling the Boss Bad News
Successful organizations value candid communication, even when the news isn’t good. Unsuccessful organizations, on the other hand, often ignore problems. In successful organizations, colleagues who speak up and raise issues are rewarded. In unsuccessful organizations, those who speak up are criticized. Most organizations exist somewhere on a continuum when it comes to encouraging candid communication. Some are highly open to it, others completely shun it, and most fall somewhere in-between.
For this assignment you will respond to this simple scenario.
Your supervisor has unveiled what she firmly believes is a great new plan that will improve what you do in your department (you may choose what type of business you are in based on your own career interests). After carefully studying the plan, however, you notice a number of potential pitfalls that are likely to make the plan fail (you choose the pitfalls). The problem is that your supervisor is extremely enthusiastic about the plan, and it appears that all of your colleagues are totally on board with it too. If you bring up your concerns, you are worried about being labeled as a negative person. At the same time, if you don’t raise your concerns, there is a real chance that the plan will fail, causing real harm to your organization.
Your task is to write a message to your supervisor in the form of an email. In it, you will need to do all of the following.
- Show appreciation for the hard work that went into the plan
- Identify those aspects of the plan you believe will work
- Identify those aspects of the plan you believe will not work
- Suggest ideas that will help to address the problems you have found with the plan
- Conclude with an offer to provide further help as needed
Effective emails are concise, clear, and complete. The recommended length of this assignment is about one page. In writing the message in Word, you should imitate the style of an email by including the To:, Subject:, and signature block.