Today’s practice is to deliver a “no” answer in person, or at the very least over the phone, but never by email or through a third party. The tendency is to distance ourselves from the one we’re delivering unfavorable news or replies to. The problem with this is that the person has no opportunity to process their disappointment, anger, or frustration — to be heard in response to your truth. When this expression has nowhere to go then your relationship suffers at heart in a way that will likely impede future collaboration and cooperation, not to mention your present association. Consider having the courage and the consideration to allow others to respond directly and in real time to disappointing news. Even if they have nothing to say you can still receive the impact of your decision on their experience.
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