The best time to deliver bad news

Dan Pink’s new book was released today. My copy is to be delivered by 8 pm according to Amazon. Some people, however, are privy to advance copies. Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, both the blog and the book, got an advance copy of the book. In his blog post, he talks about Pinks’ book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

Scientific research explained

Since I have not received my book yet I am reporting on Barker’s information. One piece of information that I found interesting is the best time to deliver bad news since HR is often the bearer of bad news. This is most applicable to “good news, bad news” situations. Ever start off with the question “you want the good news or the bad news first?” According to Pink:

Several studies over several decades have found that roughly four out of five people “prefer to begin with a loss or negative outcome and ultimately end with a gain or positive outcome, rather than the reverse.”

Unfortunately, Barker does not report if Pink mentions when is the best time to deliver just bad news. We will have to wait for that answer after I have read the book.
In the meantime, if you have to offer someone the “good news, bad news” scenario don’t offer them an option, just tell them the bad news first. The good news will probably have a bigger impact when told second.
More blog posts on Pink’s book will follow after I have read the book.

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