When you have to announce layoffs, break the news that bonuses are canceled or deliver other news that hits people “where they live,” appearing calm and unruffled only makes you look distant and uncaring, like you’re part of the problem.
Better: Shift your emphasis to providing information. If cutting benefits, for example, make sure HR staff is ready to answer questions in breakout sessions. Or, if canceling bonuses, provide financial statements that explain the decision.
At such critical times, it’s not your example that counts, but how much information you can provide.