Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition

978-0073403267 Chapter 11 Appendixes

April 6, 2019
Module 11 - Negative Messages
Part 3:
Appendix 11-A:
A Checklist for Negative Messages
Negative Messages
Is the subject line appropriate?
If a buffer is used, does it avoid suggesting either a positive or a negative response?
Is the reason, if it is given, presented before the refusal? Is the reason watertight, with no
Is the negative information clear?
Is an alternative given if a good one is available? Does the message provide all the
information needed to act on the alternative but leave the choice up to the reader?
Does the last paragraph avoid repeating the negative information?
Is tone acceptable—not defensive, but not cold, preachy, or arrogant either?
And, for all messages, not just negative ones,
Does the message use you-attitude and positive emphasis?
Is the style easy to read and friendly?
Is the visual design of the message inviting?
Is the format correct?
Does the message use standard grammar? Is it free from typos?
Originality in a negative message may come from
An effective buffer, if one is appropriate.
A clear, complete statement of the reason for the refusal.
A good alternative, clearly presented, which shows that you’re thinking about what the reader
really needs.
Adding details that show you’re thinking about a speci$c organization and the specific people
in that organization.
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