Writing because that the ReaderSaying “No” come an convey RequestSaying “No” come a credit RequestSaying “No” come an Order because that MerchandiseSaying “No” to a inquiry for a FavourSpecial problems in Writing around the Unpleasant

1. Writing For the Reader:Without empathy because that the audience’s feelings, the is difficult to obtain its cooperation or sway it to accept challenging decisions. So, prior to composing a letter containing uncomfortable news, constantly ask yourself, “if i were the receiver of the post I am around to transmit, exactly how would ns react?”


The price to that question has an affect on the sequence in which the principles are presented and also the layout in i m sorry they are expressed.

You are watching: Which of the following sentences is most effective in de-emphasizing the bad news?

Sequence of Ideas:

Just as great news is accompanied v details, bad news is attach with supporting details (explanation, specific reasons). If the poor news is gift in the first sentence, the reaction is most likely to be negative: “That’s unfair” or “This just can’t be”.

After having actually made such a referee on the basis of the an initial sentence, reader are normally reluctant to readjust their minds before the last sentence – also though the intervening sentences current valid factors for law so. Instead, disappointed readers have tendency to concentrate on rejecting (and not understanding) sustaining details.


From the writer’s allude of view, details that assistance a refuse are an extremely important. If the sustaining details are understood and also believed by the reader, the message might be readily accepted and also a good business partnership preserved. Since the reasons behind the poor news room so important, the writer requirements to organize the article in together a way as come emphasize the reasons.

The opportunities of getting the leader to understand and also accept the factors are much better before the poor news is presented than after the bad news is presented. If the reasons are gift afterwards, the reader might not also read them.

People who are refused wants to know why. Come them (and to the writer) the reasons are vital; they need to be sent and also received in a method that satisfies the reader and fulfills the writer’s function in connecting the message.


The inductive sequence-of-ideas pattern supplied in unpleasant messages is together follows:

a. Begin with a neutral idea the leads come the factor for the refusal.

b. Present the facts, analysis, and also reasons because that the refusal.

c. State the refusal utilizing a hopeful tone and de-emphasizing techniques.


d. Close through an idea the moves away from the refusal.

Before reading these letters, allow us consider the thinking behind each action in the organization of uncomfortable messages.

Step 1: introduce Paragraph:

The very first paragraph in a good-news letter contains the an excellent news, however the introductory paragraph in the bad-news or refusal letter has actually a various function. That should:


(i) permit the reader know what the letter is around (without stating the obvious) and

(ii) serve as a change into the conversation of factors (without revealing the poor news or top the reader to expect an excellent news). If these objectives have the right to be accomplished in one sentence, that sentence have the right to be the very first paragraph.

Step 2: Facts, Analysis, and Reasons:

Explanations for the refusal have actually to show up fair and realistic to the reader. And also to guide the reader to expropriate them, they have to precede the bad-news. Contrasted with explanations the follow bad-news, those the precede have actually a much better chance that being obtained with an open mind.


By the moment a reader has finished analysis this portion of the message, the upcoming explain of refusal might be foreseen and also accepted together valid.

Step 3: refuse Statement:

If the coming before statements space expressed tactfully and appear precious to the reader, the sentence that states the negative news might arouse tiny or no resentment. In strict inductive writing, the refuse statement would be placed at the end of the letter.

However, put a explain of refusal in the last sentence or paragraph would have actually the result of placing as well much focus on it. (Preferably the reasons for the refusal need to remain uppermost in the reader’s mind.) so a refuse statement have to not be put at the end of the letter; in addition, it need to not be placed in a paragraph by itself because this plan would ar too much focus on it.


Step 4: closeup of the door Paragraph:

A closing i that is around some element of the topic other than the negative news itself help in number of ways. The assists in:

(i) De-emphasizing the unpleasant component of the message,

(ii) conveying some helpful information that need to logically follow poor news,

(iii) reflecting that the writer has a hopeful attitude, and

(iv) adding a unifying top quality to the message.


Although the preceding synopsis has four points, a bad-news letter might or may not have 4 paragraphs. An ext than one paragraph may be vital for conveying reasons. In fact, letter that start with one-sentence paragraphs look an ext inviting to read. The succession of these paragraphs, and also the path of expression, is strongly influenced by empathy for the recipient of the message.

Style the Expression:

Three stylistic attributes of bad-news message merit one-of-a-kind attention: emphasis/de-emphasis, positive language, and implication. To maintain an excellent human relations, it is an essential to emphasize the positive and also de-emphasize the negative. The summary recommended because that bad-news messages puts the declare of bad news in a low grade position.

In the exact same way, stylistic techniques work towards the same goal – subordinating bad news by placing it in the dependence clause, using passive voice, expressing in basic terms (where feasible and necessary), and using abstract nouns or points (instead of the person written to) together the topic of a sentence.

Although a refusal (bad news) needs to it is in clear, subordination of it allows the thinking to get deserved emphasis. Confident language accents the good instead of the bad, the pleasant instead of the unpleasant, what can be done rather of what can’t it is in done.

Compared v a an unfavorable idea presented in an adverse terms, a an unfavorable idea presented in optimistic terms is more likely to it is in accepted. When you space tempted to usage the adhering to terms, search instead for native or principles that sound much more positive.

The indigenous in the preceding list evoke feeling that contrast sharply v the optimistic feelings evoked by words together as:

To boost the number of pleasant sounding words in your writing, practice thinking positively. Strive to watch the an excellent in every the an overwhelming business cases you might be in. Implicitly is frequently an effective method of transmitting an uncomfortable idea.

For example, during the having lunch hour one employee claims to another, “Will friend go v me to Midways? We have the right to watch the cricket enhance on your TV.” The answer “No, ns won’t” communicates a an unfavorable response, yet it seems unnecessarily direct and harsh.

The exact same message can be indirect implied:

“I wish ns could.”

“I must obtain my occupational done.”

“If ns watched cricket this afternoon, I’d be moved tomorrow.”

By implying the “no” answer, the foregoing responses use positive language; convey reasons or at the very least a optimistic attitude; and seem more respectful. This implication methods – and also emphasis/de-emphasis, positive language, and also inductive succession – are depicted in the letters that follow

2. Speak “No” to an convey Request: Assume a seller of eastern furniture receive the adhering to request for reimbursement.

Please reimburse me for the quantity of the attached bill.

When ns ordered my asian chest (which was yielded yesterday), ns paid in full for the price of the chest and also the transportation charges. Yet, prior to the transportation firm would certainly make delivery, i was required to salary Rs. 1050. Recalling the our state does no collect sales tax on foreign purchases, and also holding a acquisition ticket (sh – 311) marked “paid in full,” ns assumed an error the you would certainly be glad to correct.

The Rs. 1050 to be a federal taxation (import duties). Prior to placing the order, the purchaser had actually been told the purchasers were responsible for income duties that would certainly be gathered at the time of delivery. In addition, a statement to that effect was created in bold print on the buy-sell commitment of which she was provided a copy.

Even despite the purchaser is clearly at fault, the seller’s response could be more tactful 보다 the one depicted in figure 11.1.

In the amendment letter in number 11.2, observe that the first letter reveals the subject issue of the letter and leads into a presentation the reasons. Factors precede the refusal, the declare of refusal is subordinated, and the last statement is around something other than the refusal.

As disputed earlier, adjustment letter that say “no” follow a basic sequence the ideas:

(i) start with a neutral or factual sentence that leads come the reasons behind the “no” answer,

(ii) current the reasons and also explanations,

(iii) existing the refusal in an un-emphatic manner, and

(iv) Close through an off-the-subject thought.

The ending should of food be concerned the letter or to the organization relationship; but it need to not be specific about the refusal. Return the same pattern is complied with in credit, order and also favor refusals, those letters space sufficiently different to make a conversation of every helpful.

3. Speak “No” to a credit Request: Once we have actually evaluated a inquiry for credit and have made decision to to speak “no” our primary writing difficulty is come say “no” therefore tactfully the we store the relationship on a cash basis. As soon as requests because that credit room accompanied through an order, our credit refusals may serve together acknowledgment letters.

And, of course, every company letter is directly or indirect a sales letter. Prospective customers will be disappointed once they can not buy on a credit basis. However, if we store them interested in our goods and services, they might prefer come buy from us on a cash basis rather of seeking credit transaction privileges elsewhere.

In credit transaction refusals, together in other types of refusals, the significant portion that the message must be the explanation. Both writers and also readers advantage from the explanation the the factors behind the refusal. For writers, the explanation helps to develop fair mindedness; it mirrors that the decision was no arbitrary.

For readers, the explanation not only presents the reality (to which they space entitled), it additionally has guidance value. From the they find out to change their credit transaction habits and also as a an outcome qualify for credit purchases later.

Including resale – favorable statements around the product ordered – is valuable for four reasons:

(i) that might cause credit applicants to like our brand, and also may even make them feel choose buying the on a cash basis;

(ii) It says that the writer is do the efforts to be helpful;

(iii) It provides the writing easier because negative thoughts are less complicated to de-emphasize as soon as cushioned v resale material;

(iv) and also it have the right to confirm the credit transaction applicant’s judgment in picking the merchandise, thus making an indirect compliment.

Assume a retailer the electronic gadgets has inserted an early order and also requested credit transaction privileges. After analyzing the attached financial statements, the wholesaler decides the request have to be denied. The letter presented in figure 7.3 is insufficient for the purpose. Because you have probably established the drawbacks in the an initial paragraph that the letter, review the whole letter before glancing at the commentary.

The credit refusal in figure 7.4, in contrast, explains, refuses, and also offers to market for cash. Although credit transaction references have actually been checked, it says nothing around having conducted a “credit investigation”. That does not determine referents, and it makes no apology for action taken.

4. Speak “No” come an Order for Merchandise: For numerous reasons, businesses must sometimes convey poor news worrying orders.

When act so, writers have actually three straightforward goals:

i. To work-related toward an ultimate sale along the present of the original order.

ii. To save instructions or additional information together clear as possible.

iii. To preserve an optimistic, confident tone so the the reader won’t shed interest.

Unclear Orders:

When you have actually received one incomplete or unclear order from a customer, your first job is to obtain the info needed to finish the order. Do it as simple as possible for the customer to provide the information.

Whether you phone or compose for the compelled data, the indirect method is generally the best. The first part of her message, the buffer (neutral statement), have to confirm the initial order; by act so, it could bolster the revenue by referring to desirable features that the product (resale).

Then the resource of the confusion might be proclaimed or the trouble defined. A friendly, helpful, and also positive close should make it an easy for the audience to place a corrected order. Take a look at the following letter and also the accompanying commentary.

You will certainly be pleased through your stimulate for two dozen Wilson tennis racquets. You’ll discover that they market fast due to the fact that of your reputation for durability. In fact, tests disclose that they outlast number of other more expensive racquets.

Wilson racquets have a traditional face, yet their patented “Handi-Grip” handles come in numerous sizes so the players deserve to enjoy the tightest, best fitting fixed possible. Handles selection in 1/8 customs increments, native 4 ¼ customs (for the average ten year old) to 4 ¾ customs (for one adult male). Please consider your client mix and also decide i m sorry sizes will certainly sell ideal in your store.

To allow us know your preferences, please to fill in the fastened postage-paid card and also mail it ago today. Every sizes space in stock, Mr. Kumar, so her order will be transport promptly. You deserve to be marketing these handsome racquets within a week.

Back Orders:

When friend must ago order because that a customer, you have actually one or two types of poor news come convey:

(i) You space able come send only part of the order, or

(ii) You space able to send none of the order.

When sending only component of the order, girlfriend actually have actually both good news and also bad news. In together situations, the indirect plan works really well. The buffer includes the great news that part of the bespeak is ~ above the way, together with a resale reminder the the product’s attractiveness.

After the buffer come the factors explaining the delay in shipment of the remainder of the order. A solid close motivates a favorable mindset toward the complete transaction. For a customer whose order for a lawn mower and its accompanying grass catcher can be only partly filled, your letter can read prefer the one in figure 7.5.

Had you been unable come send the client any section of this order, you would certainly still have used the indirect approach. However, since you would have actually no great news to give, her buffer would just have shown the sale, and also the explanation ar would have stated your factor for no filling the bespeak promptly.


A customer will sometimes request something that you no longer sell or the is no longer produced. If you space sure that the customer will provide a substitute product, you may go ahead and also send it. Once in doubt, however, first send a letter that “sells” the substitute product and gives the customer basic directions for ordering it.

In either case, avoid calling the 2nd product a substitute because the ax carries a negative connotation and detracts native the sales information. Instead, say the you now stock the 2nd product exclusively.

As you have the right to imagine, the difficulty is better when the instead of is more expensive 보다 the original item. So that extr charges seem justification to her customer, display that the much more expensive item have the right to do much much more than the originally ordered item.

Suppose a customer has actually ordered a drill that is no longer manufactured. Because of problems with the original drill, the motor has actually been upgraded. Together a result, the price of the drill has increased from Rs. 995 to Rs. 1200. For this reason you compose a letter to guide your audience to buy the an ext expensive drill:

Tri-Tools, manufacturer that the Mighty-Max drill girlfriend ordered, are committed to her satisfaction v every product that makes.

For this reason, Tri-Tools conduct substantial testing. Results for the ‘A customs Mighty-Max through the 1/8 horse-power motor present that return it deserve to drill through 2 inches, of timber or ‘A inch of metal, thicker products put a significant strain ~ above the motor.

Tri-Tools to know that household jobs come in every sizes and also shapes, so it now makes a more powerful ¼ inch drill v a 3/8 horsepower motor. The brand-new Mighty-Max drill can cut through materials twice as thick as those the former model can handle.

Even with its premium capabilities, the brand-new Mighty-Max expenses only about 20 percent more than the discontinued model. Utilizing this much more powerful drill, you can be i was sure that also heavy-duty work will reason no overheating

You have the right to be using your brand-new heavy-duty drill by next week if friend just inspect the YES crate on the enclosed kind and letter it in the postage-paid envelope in addition to a cheque because that Rs. 205. Her new, worry complimentary Mighty-Max will be top top its means to you in ~ once.

Offering a much more Suitable Product:

Sometimes client order one item once they can much more profitably use another. Expect a contractor has actually ordered light bulbs that room inappropriate because that his needs. Filling the order together submitted would be a mistake, and also the client is most likely to be dissatisfied.

Although the kind letter in figure 11.6 may get the desired results (convince the recipient the the type of light bulb ordered is not the form needed), the letter in number 7.7 uses sound creating principles much more effectively.

Taking the time forced to create such a lengthy letter to a customer might at an initial seem questionable. But because such circumstances regularly occur, the letter can be stored in the computer and also quickly adapted, whenever necessary, come a similar situation. Moreover, together a letter would certainly be more appealing to the audience than a cold worded, impersonal form letter.

When civilization say “no” in a letter, they usually carry out so due to the fact that they think “no” is the far better answer for every concerned. They have the right to see exactly how recipients will ultimately advantage from the refusal. If the letter is based on a sound decision, and if it has actually been fine written, recipients will probably recognize that the sender go them a donate by saying “no”.

5. Speak “No” to a inquiry for a Favour: When a request for a favor should be denied, the very same reasons before refusal pattern space recommended. Come ensure the continuance of hopeful relationships, the recipient of a inquiry for a favor might offer an different to the donate requested, i.e. A counterproposal.

In the letter in figure 7.8, the writer describes why the firm cannot lend an executive, management to direct a significant community effort and also recommends a member the the company’s an elderly executive corps as a counterproposal.

6. Special problems in Writing about the Unpleasant: While researching the coming before pages, friend may have actually thought about the complying with questions:

i. Is an inductive outline suitable for all letters that convey bad news? it is, for practically all. Normally, the writer’s purpose is come convey a clean message and also retain recipient’s goodwill. In the rare scenarios in i beg your pardon a selection must be made between the two, clarity is the far better choice.

When the deductive technique will offer a writer’s objective better, it have to be used. Because that example, if you submit a clear and also tactful refusal and the recipient resubmits the request, a deductive presentation might be justification in the 2nd refusal.

Placing a refuse in the an initial sentence deserve to be justified when:

(a) The letter is the second response come a repeated request.

(b) A really small, insignificant issue is involved.

(c) A request is clearly ridiculous, immoral, unethical, illegal or dangerous.

(d) The writer’s will is to shake the reader.

(e) The writer-reader partnership is for this reason close and longstanding the satisfactory human relations deserve to be taken because that granted.

(f) The writer desires to demonstrate authority.

In many writing situations, the preceding circumstances do not exist. As soon as they do, a writer’s goals might be achieved by stating the poor news in the an initial sentence.

ii. Don’t readers end up being impatient as soon as a letter is inductive, and won’t that impatience interfere through their understanding of the reasons? Concise, well-written explanations are not most likely to make readers impatient.

They relate come the reader’s problem, current information not already known, and aid the leader understand. Even if reader do come to be impatient while analysis a well-written explanation, the impatience is less damaging to expertise than would be the fury or annoyance that regularly results indigenous encountering bad news in the an initial sentence.

Let us currently examine the obstacles involved and pitfalls to it is in avoided when writing the introductory paragraph (the buffer), stating the negative news, and also composing the closing lines.

First Paragraph:

The introduce paragraph must let the reader recognize the object of the letter without speak the obvious. The should develop a shift into the conversation of reasons without revealing the negative news or top a reader to expect good news. In other words, it need to be a neutral, relevant, practiced lead-in come the bad news. And, over all, it must not be misleading.

Here are some various other things to avoid once writing a buffer:

Avoid saying “no”. One audience encountering the unpleasant news appropriate at the beginning will reaction negatively to the rest of the message, no matter how reasonable and also well grammar it is.

Avoid making use of a know-it-all tone. When you use phrases such together “you need to be mindful that,” the audience will intend your lecture to result in a an adverse response and will, together a result, become resistant to your message.

Avoid wordy and also irrelevant phrases and sentences. Sentence such together “we have actually received your letter,” “this letter is in answer to her request,” and “we space writing in solution to her request” room irrelevant. You deserve to make better use of an are by referring directly to the subject of the letter.

Avoid apologizing. An apology weakens her explanation of the unfavorable decision.

Avoid creating a buffer the is too long. The suggest is to recognize briefly something that both you and the audience space interested in and agree on prior to proceeding in a businesslike way.

Figure 7.9 shows varieties of buffers you might use to open a bad-news article tactfully. After ~ you have composed a buffer, evaluate it by questioning yourself 4 questions: is that pleasant? Is it relevant? Is that neutral (saying no yes no one no)? walk it administer for a smooth transition to the reasons that follow? If you can answer “yes” to every question, you might proceed confidently to the following section of her message.

Bad-News Sentence:

In a sense, a i that gift the reasoning behind a refusal at least partially conveys the refusal before it is stated. Yet, one sentence needs to convey (directly or by implication) the conclusion come which the coming before details have been leading. The most important considerations are positive language and emphasis.

Take a look in ~ the complying with examples and also the accompanying critique:

Your inquiry is therefore being denied.

We are therefore denying your request.

The preceding figures do not justify elevating your credit limit come Rs. 30,000 as you requested, but they execute justify increasing the border to Rs. 15,000.

To soften the impact of a an adverse idea, a really helpful an approach is implication. The following sentences show techniques because that implying a refusal.

My department is currently shorthanded, for this reason I’ll need all my employee for at least the next two months.

If the price to be Rs. 35,000, the contract would have been signed.

By agree the arrangement, the ABC agency would have actually tripled that costs.

Last Paragraph:

After having actually presented precious reasons and also a tactful refusal, a writer demands a closing i that includes useful information and also demonstrates empathy for the audience.

The function of the near is to end the article on a an ext upbeat note. Follow this guidelines for the last paragraph of a bad-news letter:

i. Don’t refer to or repeat the bad news.

ii. Don’t apologize for the decision or reveal any doubt the the factors will be accepted (avoid statements such together “I to trust our decision is satisfactory”).

iii. Don’t urge added communication (e.g. “if girlfriend have further questions, please write), unless you room really willing to comment on your decision further.

iv. Don’t anticipate difficulties (avoid declaration such together “should friend have more problems, please let us know”).

v. Don’t encompass cliches that are insincere in watch of the negative news, (e.g., “if we deserve to be of any help, please contact us”).

vi. Don’t reveal any kind of doubt that you will save the human being as a client (avoid unit volume such together “we hope you will proceed to do organization with us”).

The last paragraph is usually shorter than the coming before explanatory paragraph. Sometimes a one-sentence closeup of the door is enough; in other cases, 2 or 3 sentences might be needed. The last sentence should lug a unifying high quality to the whole message.

The repeat of a word or reference to some positive idea that appears earlier in the letter offer this well. Stop restating the refusal or introduce to it due to the fact that that would only serve come emphasize it.

Possibilities because that the final sentence include reference to some pleasant aspect of the preceding discussion, resale, sales advancement material, an different solution to the reader’s problem, some future facet of the business relationship, or one expression of willingness to help in some other way.

Consider the complying with closures which use the preceding suggestions. In a letter denying request for cost-free repair:

“According to a recent survey, a four-headed VCR produces sound features that are much superior to a two-headed VCR; the was an ideal choice.”

The writer offers resale, remind the leader that his four-headed VCR has actually a exceptional feature.

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In a letter refusing permission come the leader to interview particular employees top top the job, the writer looks for to show a great attitude by offering to carry out something else:

“If friend would favor to check out the orientation film we display to management trainees, you would certainly be most welcome”.