The reality of agency life is that it’s a mix of good news and bad and as leaders, we have to communicate both to our team. How do you effectively deliver bad news in a way that doesn’t leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth?
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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week coming to you from San Francisco. You know, this shirt represented my Dodgers, making an attempt yet this year to go back to the World Series. If you’re following baseball you know that this did not work out well for us. The Atlanta Braves showed up, we didn’t and we lost the series and we’re out. And you know that’s the reality for us as agency owners too. Sometimes we don’t win. And sometimes we have to take bad news back to our team, whether it’s a, we didn’t get a client that we thought we are going to get or for many of you, one of the tough conversations you’re having right now is around the fact that an employee or a series of employees are leaving. Many of you are being poached by other agencies and other brands and organizations. And so lot of you have been having a lot of so-and-so is leaving conversations. And how you frame that conversation up, how you talk about that loss is important. And it’s just a couple thoughts about that. Number one, do it transparently, be honest about what’s happening and why you think it happened. So in many cases, people are being poached because they got a great opportunity or a great offer and it’s okay to say that. And it’s also okay to tell them why you didn’t win a pitch or why a client is leaving. But, you have to wrap that bad news with good news. And so sometimes that’s good news around other things that are happening in the agency. And often times it’s about the vision of how you’re going to move forward from whatever that loss may be. So as you’re thinking about how you want to present bad news to your team, make sure that you are wrapping it in again, truthful, transparent, honest, genuine, good news, but good news. Make sure that they’re not just hearing the bad news, but they are also hearing either how you’re going to pivot from the bad news or a silver lining of the bad news. But look for ways to frame up the bad news in a way that makes them feel that like you’re in control, that you’ve got this, that the agency is not in trouble because how you position that, is going to be how they hear it. So it’s not just the news, it really is more about positioning and I frame it than it is the news itself. So, take that into your next planning session and hopefully you won’t have any bad news to share for a while, but if you do, I’m hoping that’s helpful. All right, I’ll see you next week.