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Bad news communication

| October 28, 2015

Assignment Scenario:
You are an intern at Business Consulting. Your mentor and boss has been exceptionally pleased with your work and asked you to continue next semester. That is not possible, though, because you will be on Study Abroad in London. Here are the instructions you receive for this project.

As you know, because Business Consulting is so pleased with the work you have done for them, we asked you to be part of the selection process for the intern who will replace you when you leave for the UK. The preferred qualifications for the internship remain:

•Entering Junior Year
•Declared as an HR major
•Experience in a service business
•Experience working in teams

From all of the candidates whose files you reviewed, we have now narrowed it down to two finalists for the job. One met all of the requirements and interviewed strongly. The other finalist, J.J. Watson, doesn’t meet the preferred requirements but interviewed well in the first round. Unfortunately, the follow up interview did not go well. As a reminder, J.J. is entering sophomore year and is strongly considering an HR major but remains undeclared at the moment. J.J. offers some experience in service businesses during high school, which also involved working in teams. In addition, J.J. was a student athlete in high school, playing varsity basketball for three years.

Because you are contemporaries and we allowed you to review the notes from the final interview, I am asking you to write the letter informing J.J. that the internship has been offered to a student entering junior year and already a declared HR major.

Here is J.J.’s contact information:
J.J. Watson
608 Berlin Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

1. This is a bad news communication assignment. Please use appropriate tone and be aware of the audience. Tell the bad news later.
2. The structure for the bad news are:

1st paragraph: Bluffer.
Start with something nice. A “buffer” is simply a neutral way of starting your message. A buffer must put the reader in a good frame of mind, not give the bad news but not imply a positive answer either, and provide a natural transition to the message

2nd Paragraph: Justification.
Justification is the “why” behind the bad news. It is not designed to get the audience to agree with decisions or be happy about things.
3rd Paragraph: Next you present the bad news – without belaboring it or making the announcement unnecessarily long.

4th Paragraph: Positive, Goodwill Close
Finally, you try to restore the relationship to a positive balance in some way. Sometimes that can meanoffering an alternative (i.e., while we no longer carry the 43X, we do offer the 45X which has similarfeatures as well as some not included in the 43X and at a fairly comparable price).

Throughout the letter you need to keep your language as positive as you can given the circumstances.

3. Please follow the structure and be careful about grammar. The professor checks for grammar error strictly.

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