Valerie Khoo


This is the personal blog of Valerie Khoo – artist, author and podcaster. Valerie is passionate about exploring the worlds of creativity and business. She is co-host of the popular podcasts ‘So you want to be a writer’ and ‘So you want to be a photographer’. Valerie is a mentor to artists, writers and business owners on how they can turn their passions into thriving professional practices. She is author of ‘Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business’. Valerie is also CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, one of the world’s leading centres for writing courses.

How to deliver bad news in business

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  1. Mark Hayes

    Although I’m not in a position to deliver much bad news (aside from turning down the odd sales call), these tips will prove useful down the road with my career, and perhaps transfer over to my social life as well.

    Great article Valerie!

    1. Anonymous

      Thanks Mark. I think that the fear of delivering bad news can be paralysing sometimes too. So we end up not wanting to let that client go, or have a difficult discussion with a supplier – so we end up resenting the situation. But if we have the tools to do it, that’s makes it easier. Hope things are going well in your world!

  2. Mark Snell

    Thanks Valerie, at The Tech Doctor Network we are fairly frequently forced to share some bad news with our customers, from “your computer’s motherboard has failed, and is not repairable” to “your hard drive with all your Business Files/Emails/Baby Photos has failed and we cannot recover anything” and we do try and put a warmer spin on it (It really was time to upgrade/we have a partner who can investigate clean room data recovery for you) but these tips of yours are really handy, and I’m forwarding them to the team now.

    1. Anonymous

      Thanks Mark. In 95 per cent of cases, the “bad news sandwich” is a good guideline, particularly in written form. It’s almost like there is a visual buffer around the bad news. It’s not like the writer is trying to hide anything – it’s about being gentle when delivering bad news.