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Writing Assignment 4 Procedural Message

1130 words - 5 pages

ENGL510 Foundations of Professional Communication
Writing Assignment 3 -- Bad News Message

In this assignment you will complete a collaborative project designed to solve the problem of delivering bad news. Communicating bad news is one example of a complex workplace problem. Incorporate strategies for analyzing group dynamics, resolving conflict, and communicating in a multicultural environment to complete the project. Each group has a dedicated discussion area to work on the assignment which begins with an individual effort.

Situation: Giving Bad News to a Customer

You are the sales manager at Easy to Be Green. ...view middle of the document...

“Great,” you say. “Forget the deadline, and we might even absorb the added cost. We want to make this customer happy.” “Not so fast,” says Chris. Apparently there is a zoning restriction on this kind of venting location. This restriction is not well enforced, and many businesses in the area violate it. EBG naturally has a policy against violating zoning restrictions. The engineer told Chris that occasionally they have bent the rules on this particular restriction since it is so weakly enforced and since it doesn’t have environmental implications; the restriction has more to do with the visual profile of the building.

Chris consulted the legal department to get their input, which was not encouraging. The company lawyer told Chris that EBG was currently working with city council members to have some (unrelated) environmentally-friendly but controversial legislation passed, and it would not look good for the company to be found in violation of another city ordinance while this other legislation was being debated. The opponents of the legislation would certainly bring any company violations to the public’s attention and make the most of the situation.

You know that the answer will have to be no, and the client will not be happy, nor will Chris. In fact, Chris asks you to communicate the bad news to the client, and you agree that this is a good idea. It’s important for Chris to maintain a good relationship with the client, and this will be easier if the decision comes from someone else.

You ask Chris to stop by in the morning, along with the design engineer, to help draft the letter. You want to write this letter carefully because a lot could be at stake.


Write a one-page letter to Greenfield’s construction manager informing him/her that you cannot make the requested change. Note that you have chosen to write a letter rather than simply making a phone call or writing an email because this message might be considered a kind of addendum to the contract; therefore, you want a written record and you want it to be more formal than an email.

One of the most important features of a bad news message is the reason for the bad news, which ideally should be airtight and should not cause you to lose the good will of the recipient. The best reason...

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