Sugar-Coated Merger Announcements Leave a Sour Aftertaste

Why are top executives so prone to screw up in announcing mergers to their people?

You see it all the time—a top-ranking officer takes the microphone to announce a deal, smiles confidently, then pushes the cheerleader needle into the red zone with comments restricted to good news, over-promotion, and merger “happy talk.”

Does it sell?  No, it disgusts people.

Now, sure, the head honchos should legitimately put a positive spin on  the merger story.  Leaders need to be upbeat…they should seek to reassure the work force.  But way too often these initial comments are so one-sided that they mainly trigger cynicism and damage management’s credibility.

If you’re announcing a merger, don’t forget that you’re dealing with adults.  They prefer truth over dubious promises.  They’re irked by an unrealistic positive slant.  You’ll be talking into a headwind of skepticism, and a Pollyanna pitch is just going to stoke the fires of employee distrust.

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