Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Delivering Bad News

At some point in time every leader is faced with the need to deliver bad news. Whether it's one-on-one to a specific staff member or publicly to a larger group of staff, having to share bad news can be stressful. Amy Gallo writing in the Harvard Business Review suggests five strategies for handling these difficult situations:

1. Prepare for the conversation - Think about what needs to be said, the perspective of those you're going to talking with and what you expect their reaction to be. Have a plan.

2. Be direct and avoid mixed messages - How you deliver bad news is as important as what you have to say. Watch your body language.

3. Explain how the decision was made - People are willing to accept negative outcomes if they feel the decision making process was sound. Procedural fairness is important.

4. Allow for venting but avoid debate - Encourage people to share their reactions and listen with empathy.  Don't, however, get sucked into a debate over the merits of the decision.

5. Focus on the future - After having a time to vent, shift the discussion to what's next. Change the focus to problem solving. Begin exploring where do we go from here.