A few years ago, two executives had to deliver the same bad news to their different employee groups. The company’s sales volume had been less than forecast, so the president told his executive team that he was cutting the company’s operating budget by 10%. After brainstorming ways to both achieve this target reduction and cause the least distress for the company’s 950 employees, the senior managers had come up with a plan. They had trimmed expenses as much as possible, but they still needed to let some people go. Each executive delivered this news to his or her respective employee group. At the end of the meetings, the first employee group booed its executive and security guards had to escort him out of the auditorium for his safety; whereas the second group cheered its executive and spent an hour afterward talking with her and asking her questions.