I can without stretching the truth state that being a Graduate Trainee is probably the most fun and instructive experience I have had in my life so far. But of course there are challenges. One of these challenges is to deliver bad news.
We trainees often get the responsibility to look at certain areas or processes, assess how well it is working and present our findings, areas of improvements as well as an action plan for how they should implement the changes. Interesting? Absolutely. Instructively? No doubt! But it is also hard to point out all the flaws within the organization to the people working with this day and night, already putting their heart and soul into their work.
The luxury to step right into the company and get to work with interesting projects that we can devote our full attention to is very instructive. Add on the fact that we are relative naïve, newly graduated that we are, we can see things from another point a view. This is of course valuable to Lantmännen and one of the reasons we get the opportunities that we get.
But in order to take full advantage of this ability, it is important for the organization to be open to the critic and to have the possibility to react to the improvements we are suggesting. This is of course difficult to do for someone who has been working within the area for a long time, we have merely been working with the projects for a couple of months! But from my experience there are some key points that you can keep in mind in order to help your co-worker acknowledge the results. Therefore I’m proud to present the check list for “How to deliver bad news”!
- Make sure you visualize the current problems as well as the improvement you are suggesting. The simpler the better!
- Be prepared to present the facts that have made you drawn these conclusions. Because you have based your conclusions on facts, right?
- Acknowledge the work they are already doing. They are often doing a heck of a job so make sure they know you have seen it.
- Be humble about your results! There are always factors you have not been able to take into consideration.
- Last but not least, be careful not to single out individuals as scapegoats, it easily becomes a witch hunt. In most cases the cause to the problem lies deeper than that.
Good luck trying to deliver the bad news!!