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Part IV: Writing for Special Circumstanc... > When the News Is Especially Sensitiv...

Chapter 15. When the News Is Especially Sensitive

It can be difficult to convey the bad news of turning down an applicant, rejecting an employee’s request, or notifying customers of inventory shortages. Such communications are relatively routine, however, compared to delivering especially sensitive news, such as an employee’s life-threatening illness or death or the company’s response to a serious workplace accident. But the same guidelines apply no matter how sensitive the bad news:

Be tactful

Keep the tone positive and courteous

Avoid qualifiers, passive construction, or euphemisms

Be direct and considerate without being too subtle

Express appropriate concern


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