Bad news early

“Bad news early is good news.”

This wisdom is attributed to Ruth Clark. I think it’s a great reminder, because delaying action is so human. When we are frustrated, we wait to say something. When a project isn’t going well, we wait to say something. When an agreement isn’t going to work out, we wait to say something. When we decide to leave our jobs, we wait to say something. When we get that RSVP for that event we won’t be attending, we wait to say something. 

Sometimes we don’t say anything at all.

It’s easy to rationalize this behavior, to convince ourselves we are doing the best thing for whoever is on the other side. But the truth is, delaying bad news is often best for us—not others.

When people know what’s happening, they have a chance to course-correct or refocus their efforts. When we withhold, we rob others of that chance.

Bad news early is good news. Prove you care about the people around you. Bring them more good news. If you need help delivering this type of good news, read Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication or chapter 6 in Do Better Work.

Make it a great week,


This is Max’s note—a weekly message from Lessonly’s CEO about learning, leadership, and doing Better Work. Sign up below to subscribe via email. No spam, we promise!

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