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Deductive Outlines for Good & Neutral Messages

Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

There are many times in business when positive messages or neutral, non-emotion provoking messages are sent. When drafting this type of message, following an outline will help to present the message in the best possible light.

Deductive Messages

It's your turn to announce the names of the Employee of the Year winners. The winners think they are receiving really good news but you know that they are really receiving a deductive message.

A deductive message is one that does not bring bad news. It brings good news or a neutral message. A neutral message is one that does not provoke emotion.To clarify, good news might be a job offer. Neutral news might be that the company you applied to confirmed the receipt of your resume.

Deductive messages are pretty easy to draft. That is mostly because they come with no ill intent. The inheritor is generally receptive to the message and looks forward to receiving it.

Deductive messages are used for a few reasons:

  • Deliver positive news
  • To thank someone
  • To offer credit
  • As a way to offer a job or promotion

Now that we understand the various ways we could use deductive messages, let's take a look at exactly how to write one. Like any good piece of writing, it should start with an outline.

Deductive Outline

An outline will help you to keep important information in proper order. So, when you are about to draft your message of good tidings, start with the main idea or the central purpose of the message. This can be in the form of a statement or even a question.

For a job promotion, you might say:

'Hello Bill,

Are you ready to move your career with Banner Enterprises to the next level?'

The question in and of itself is exciting and keeps the reader on the edge of their … well … inbox.

A statement may read more like this:

'Dear Jenny,

We would like to announce that you have been selected for a promotion to the Credit and Collections Department.'

An example of a neutral message may be:

'Dear Mrs. Philstein,

The Returns Department is in receipt of your cardigan sweater. Your replacement cardigan sweater will be shipped on Friday.'

Then, explain the main idea in clear terms and end it with good will.

Let's put it all together using the example of Jenny's promotion.

'Dear Jenny,

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