Try Ending With A Positive

In situations where you are to meet with someone to deliver a message that they may not want to hear, try ending your invitational message with a positive statement.

Often we are restricted in what we can do for others through company policies and procedures. When this occurs try these two strategies;

Firstly, we usually break bad news by stating the good stuff first to 'break the ice' so to speak - "I can do some of what you asked of me but you should know that I am restricted in what I can do for you." Structuring the sentence in this way is much easier for the person delivering the message.

Instead, try reversing the sentence to - "I am unable to do everything that I wanted to do for you however there are some things that I can do, let's talk about those when we meet".

This ends with a positive and also replaced the word 'BUT' with the word 'HOWEVER'. The person will meet with you in more of a positive mood knowing that there are some things that you can do for them.

Secondly, when you do meet with the person, explain why you can't do all of what you wanted to do for them. "I am somewhat restricted in what I can do for you due to our policies which are in place for consistency, fairness, or everyone's safety."

It is important to explain why the restrictions are in place, i.e. the purpose of the policy/guidelines. Simply saying "I can't do this because of our policy" may cause the person to say "Well your policies are stupid and you need to change them." 

End your sentences on a positive note, particularly in emotional situations.