How do I break bad news to someone?

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how do I break bad news to someone image of a nurse and patients

 

how do I break bad news to someone  image of a nurse and patients

How do I break bad news to someone?

  1. Work Through Your Feelings
  2. Are You the Right Person?
  3. Have an Idea of What You Will Say
  4. Choose a Private and Comfortable Setting
  5. Signal There is Bad News Coming
  6. Speak in Plain Language
  7. Get to the Point
  8. Make Sure You are Available After the News
  9. Offer Further Support

How do i break bad news to someone? In your lifetime, you are going to receive a lot of bad news, and you are going to have to share it as well. That is part of life. Delivering bad news is never fun, but remember, it is much worse for the person receiving it. If you want to give bad news in the most comfortable way possible, consider taking these thoughtful steps.

  1. Work Through Your Feelings

Before you break bad news, you should work through your feelings first. The bad news might relate to you as much as the person receiving it. If you can’t control your emotions, it will be tough to deliver the bad news.

  1. Are You the Right Person?

You should take some time to think about if you are the right person to deliver this bad news. Maybe, you aren’t close enough with the person. Perhaps it is a familial issue that you aren’t related to. Whatever the case, make sure you are the right person to deliver the news.

  1. Have an Idea of What You Will Say

You don’t want to write a speech on cue cards, but you should take some time to think about what you are going to say. Overthinking will come off as staged and rote, but having no idea what to say at all is even worse. Take a few minutes to think about the best way to deliver the bad news.

  1. Choose a Private and Comfortable Setting

While it isn’t always possible you should take some care in choosing a place to break the bad news. At the very least, you should find somewhere the person can sit down and expect at least some privacy. The worse the news, the more critical it is to find the right setting.

  1. Signal There is Bad News Coming

You should start by letting the person that bad news is coming. This can be as simple as saying, “Listen, I have some bad news I have to pass on…” or something like that. This transitional statement will let the receiver start to prepare themselves for the rest of the news mentally.

  1. Speak in Plain Language

This isn’t the time to show off your English Lit 101 knowledge. Be direct and speak in plain language. You want to make sure that you communicate the news as accurately as possible, and using simple, understandable language is the easiest way to ensure this.

  1. Get to the Point

This is the old “rip off a Band-Aid” adage. It is easier for everyone if you just get to the point. The more you circle the subject, the more tense and anxious things will be. Breaking bad news is horrible, so don’t stretch it out with needless chatter.

  1. Make Sure You are Available After the News

If you are delivering some particularly heavy bad news, make sure you have enough time to stick around for a bit. You don’t want to break bad news and then just leave right away. The person may need a shoulder to lean on or time to process the info.

  1. Offer Further Support

Once you deliver the bad news, offer your support. This might not seem like a big step, but just knowing at least one person is there for them can help the person receiving the bad news. It might soften the blow, knowing they have your support.

What to do next- How to break bad news to someone

Think about the last time you delivered bad news. Write down how it went. Focus on your feelings and the person’s reaction.

Divide a piece of paper into two columns. On one side, list what went well the last time you delivered bad news. On the other side, list what went wrong.

Reflect on the above list. Is there anything you would do differently? Write down what you would do differently.

Information on bereavement 

Book: How to break bad news

Book: How to have that difficult conversation