Skip to content

How do you react to bad news? Assess your management skills

Picture by dsevilla Have a few minutes? Want to quickly assess your ability to react to bad news? Try this short exercise.


Working for a large multi-national organization, you are the head of a 40 people software development team. Your team’s ability to deliver on their commitment continues to decrease despite implementing new measures to help boost productivity.

During a recent lunch meeting, you were informed that things on the floor are really bad by one of your external partner. In an attempt to help you, the partner offers to present some key findings about your team – their processes, their tools, their skills, their environment, etc.

In order to share the suggestions of your external partner with your team, you invite your direct reports (managers) to the presentation. It’s a sunny day outside and despite some technical glitches, the consultants begin the presentation by stating the objective of the meeting and inform you they intend to be very candid. After a few introductory slides, the real content of the presentation begins…

Slide 6

Lack of Team work

  • No ownership of the project by the team members
  • No shared commitment by the team members
  • Team members not working with a common goal in mind
  • Seperation of responsabilities leads to a silo work environment


  • Lack of efficiency
  • No sharing of knowledge
  • Team members have no common focus

Slide 7

Lack of Technical Skills

  • Testing (Unit, Functional, Acceptance) non existant
  • No knowledge of Object Oriented Programming
  • No knowledge of Web Development Skills
  • Sound engineering practices absent
  • No time for learning


  • High and increasing number of bugs
  • Quality is constantly low
  • Maintenance costs are increasing
  • Will have a negative impact on future projects

Slide 8

Difficult Work Environment

  • Micro management and interference by management
  • Lack of communications and transparency
  • Maintain a culture of fear and blame
  • Dictates the ways of working
  • No time for learning


  • Overall unpleasant work environment
  • Team members want to quit the project
  • Overall quality is suffering

How would you react?

Enter your answer below. I will publish the results shortly.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post! I want to see the result! I am convinced that management style at the top of an organization will reflect below…

    April 14, 2010
  2. Leo #

    I agree with Anne-Laure. I look foward to see the results. It would have been possible to answer with more than one choice.

    April 16, 2010
  3. meamamased #

    oh my oh my it’s like if someone picked inside of my workplace 🙂 … I kind a hoped it doesn’t exist elsewhere 😦

    April 19, 2010
  4. Sylvianie #

    I feel first frustrated but then may be will ask myself that there should be something wrong in the way I work. I would take note of same and move forward.

    September 12, 2011

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention How do you react to bad news? Assess your management skills | Analytical-Mind --
  2. The results are in – people would wonder about their management style | Analytical-Mind

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: