Discussion Question #1:
Communicating Bad News
Scenario: You are a middle manager at a large technology organization. You arrived at work today to find out that your organization is going through a reorganization. There will be mass downsizing – immediately. You met with your boss, who informed you that the company has been losing revenue for too long and immediate action is necessary. More decisions are to come.
Your job is not in jeopardy; however, you will lose team members in the downsizing. Your team members are panicked and you need to step up to address the issue with them. You also need to maintain productivity and the results.
You call a meeting to discuss this with your team. Then you take some time to prepare yourself to deal with this situation. This is not an easy message to communicate, but a common one. Think through your approach by following the prompts below.
Part One: Write a script to tell us what you will say to your team at the meeting today.
Part Two: Discuss your strategy with us, by addressing the questions below:
- What is your communication strategy with your team?
- How often will you provide communication to your team about updates? You need to keep them informed, but not panicked.
- How will you get your key message across, while keeping your team productive?
- What can you do to reduce the challenges of distraction and the rumor mill for your team?
Discussion Question #2:
Asking the Right Questions
Convincing others to buy into an idea, a product, or an initiative requires listening and communicating effectively. Asking the right questions can help people to open up and to discuss upcoming changes more freely, while understanding that they have a voice in the process.
Scenario: Your company has developed a new initiative or product, or it is introducing a change to technology or personnel that will affect your team and its daily working environment. You are tasked with gathering buy-in from your team, as well as learning if they have any objections to this initiative.
You call a meeting with your team:
- Briefly describe the new initiative and why it is important (e.g., a reorganization, a new product, a new technology, etc.)
- Draft three questions for your team designed to gain buy-in and support for this new initiative
Next, share your communication strategy with us:
- How will you know if your questioning was effective?
- Your team needs to know they have a voice – during this meeting, how did you let them know you are listening to them and that their opinion matters?