Your Executive Team is in for some bad news

When it comes to planning and executing work, there are three guarantees: they have a beginning and an end. In between, something will go wrong, fall behind, or block progress until a solution can be found. You must plan for risk and be ready to deal with it.
The big question is: As a leader and business professional, how and when should you tell management and executives about bad news?
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Big vs. Small Issues
Every aspect of a project requires attention. You don’t have to be the bearer for bad news. It is important to be able to communicate with others up the chain of command.
There are two options: either wait and try to resolve the problem as best you can or get help immediately, before things get out of control. You should wait for help with small or new problems. You should seek help for more serious problems sooner than you think.
Is the problem big or small? Here are some things to consider when you make that call.
Think like an executive: Consider how your boss or manager might react to the situation and how they might respond. Think about the questions they might ask and the solutions they might offer. What would be a good plan A? Plan B? Or plan C?
Understanding the implications: Take the time and analyze the implications of waiting for a solution or working together immediately. Is there a high cost? Is there a client relationship at stake? Is there a simple way to solve the problem, such as increasing resources or prioritizing a certain set of tasks?
Negotiate conflict: If your attempts to solve the problem by negotiation are unsuccessful or you face resistance, it could be more serious and you may need to bring in senior leadership. Before you expand the audience, first try to find simple solutions (such as changing the plan or steps).
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When to deliver bad news
It is always the best time to communicate. Problems arise when the line is silent. Track your work efforts and be ready to address issues immediately.
Identifying areas of potential risk and challenges before they occur and understanding why they may occur is key.
Regular check-ins with senior managers are arranged biweekly, monthly and/or quarterly to monitor progress and assess any potential risks.
Communicate immediately any sudden issues that require an action plan, rather than waiting to see if they resolve themselves.
How to deliver bad news
Learn about the communication styles of your team members, leaders, managers, and others. They all have different communication styles and will require different approaches.
Ask: If in doubt, ask: It is better to ask upfront than to assume anything in business. There is no “dumb” question. Only clarity.
Regular status reports are important: Keep management informed with regular status reports that outline what is happening, in planning, and completed. You can identify areas of risk or challenge and create a plan for solving them.
Special meetings are important: Some things require more planning to achieve the best results. Meeting in advance to get input and awareness will help bring potential big issues to the forefront and make them visible.
It’s important to get it in writing.
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7 Tips to Communicate with Your Executive Team
Start with the big picture, and then build details from the ground.
Use clear language, especially when the issue is technical.
Keep it real

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