Before we go further, what are the factors that surround our reluctance to give bad news?
- As human beings we want to avoid emotional challenging situations
- We naturally empathize or sympathize with the situation and put ourselves into it making it difficult
- We don’t want to be blamed
- We want the easiest path towards things and bad news is against that easy path theory
- Rationalizing – oh we can put it off because it will never happen again, or it is something we can deal with later.
- Talking in stories to go around the issue and hope we get the point across.
- Job Loss
- Medical News
- Death in the Family
- A tough decision that had to be made
- Anything else that would cause one party to be upset over the other.
Some more detailed methods are:
- The sandwich method – Good – area of improvement – Good. There have been articles on this before where really there might be issues about people thinking the good news is canned and in genuine so you have to be careful about this.
- The direct method – Quick, honest, and to the point
- Whole Message Model – One of my favorites. This one gets people involved in the bad news and the discussion around it, however, it takes practice and could be hard to do.
How do you deliver bad news?