The general format will look the same:

You’re going to tell people what you know, what you don’t know, and when you’ll get back to them to discuss what you didn’t know before.

The first part, telling people what you know, is pretty straightforward and it might require gathering data. Then, share this information as simply and honestly as you possibly can, even if it is not what people want to hear.

The second part — letting people know what you don’t know — tends to be even more difficult for leaders. But telling people what you don’t know is the key to building credibility with your stakeholders.

Omit this step, and customers, employees, and others will recognize you aren’t being upfront with them and might assume that you can’t be trusted or the truth is more nefarious than it really is.

Finally, you will need to tell people how quickly you’ll get back to them with any outstanding questions they may have.