“In ancient Persia, there was a messenger who reported whether or not his army had been victorious in battle. If they won, citizens celebrated him like a hero. If their army lost, the messenger could expect to be executed immediately–even though he had nothing to do with the outcome. Oddly, there are no reports of messengers lying about a victory and sneaking out after the party.
Today, viewers regularly subject meteorologists to abuse when bad weather hits–as if they are in a position to control it. U.S. psychologist Robert Cialdini mentions an incident in which an angry farmer approached a weather forecaster as he entered a bar. The farmer said, “You’re the one that sent that tornado and tore my house up . . . I’m going to take your head off.” The weatherman replied, “That’s right about the tornado, and I’ll tell you something else, I’ll send another one if you don’t back off.”
In this case, the halo effect is at work, as something positive or negative directly rubs off on the messenger…”
Delivering bad news doesn’t have to be as… well, as bad as you think. Read on for the full piece in FastCompany: https://www.fastcompany.com/90266305/how-to-deliver-bad-news-in-a-positive-way