HOW DO I PRESENT BAD NEWS IN OTHER CULTURES?
When dealing with bad news it is really important to keep cultures in mind.Depending on the culture different strategies may be necessary because different cultures understand things differently.
- North Americans generally present bad messages indirectly.
- In Germany business communicators occasionally use buffer but tend to present bad news directly.
- British writers are straightforward with bad news, seeing no reason to soften its announcement.
- In Asia disputing the harmony with bad news is avoided.Japanese communicators use different methods to say no and they use hints to deliver bad news
- In Thailand negativism presented by a refusal is completely alien : the word "no" does not exist
PHRASE USED IN POSSIBLE MEANING
I agree I agree with 15% of what you say
We might be able to........ Not a chance
We will consider We will consider but the real decision maker will not
Yes Yes, I am listening or Yes, you have a good point
PROBLEMS IN PRESENTING BAD NEWS IN OTHER CULTURES
- Asian people usually say, "That will be difficult," "We will have to give that further study," or "Maybe instead of saying direct "no".Americans who are delivering direct language sometimes think that their Asian partners are misleading and confusing them. Asians use this method of expressing bad news as an attempt to hide their intentions in negative situations. Asian people think indirect language is a good way of delivering bad or disappointing news. They are being polite , hoping not to hurt any one's feelings in order to maintain a good relationship.
- In low-context cultures, what someone says is usually what they mean. Almost nothing is left unsaid. They are not familiar with understanding non-verbal clues.
CHALLENGES OF PRESENTING BAD NEWS IN OTHER CULTURES
- Understand the 'western' way to deliver bad news is not the universal way.
- Broaden your knowledge to include new culture of the workplace.
- Evaluate the context in which the bad news is being delivered
- Always use the indirect pattern as it lessens the impact of the bad news and may diminish a cultural misinterpretation