Giving Bad News – Techniques
Information to People about Bad News – Techniques
Bad news messages (or negative messages) are news messages that people don’t want to hear, see, or get. It is not easy to deliver negative news. It doesn’t matter if you’re telling someone they are being fired or critiquing their work performance. The way you deliver your message will determine the response.
Some people prefer to hear the bad news quickly and succinctly. Some people prefer a more direct approach. You can decide whether a direct approach or an indirect one is appropriate. Your job is to communicate news that you expect will be unwanted, unwelcomed, and even dismissed.
Every bad news triggers emotions, from mild to life-threatening.
Your communication skills can be used to convey bad news without worrying your audience. Leaders who lack experience in public speaking can find it difficult to present bad news. These communication skills will help you get the job done.
Methods for letting people know bad news
You can choose between two methods to convey a negative message: the direct approach or the indirect approach.
Direct Approach – This is often used when the audience values conciseness, the message must be succinct, it is related to a well-known issue or problem (and the bad news won’t surprise anyone), or you are ending a
Indirect Approach – Use if your audience is likely to react strongly to bad news. For example, if your goal is to retain customers’ business in the future or retain referrals from clients.
Techniques for Informing People About Bad News
These techniques will help you communicate bad news with empathy, grace, and honesty no matter what it is.
1. Prepare yourself emotionally
Anyone who hears bad news can feel stressed. It is important to be prepared before you experience this stress.
2. Never delay.
It is crucial to communicate bad news quickly. People sit and wait for bad news to improve. I have found that they rarely do.
3. Communicate clearly, easily, and frequently
To avoid confusion and being asked for more information, be clear and concise. When a crisis begins, the audience’s attention is limited. New, disruptive inputs can overwhelm a person’s ability to process information. Fear, high levels of uncertainty, and perceived threats can lead to “cognitive freeze.”
4. Demonstrate empathy.
If you have to deliver bad news, it is important that you value empathy. This word comes from the Greek empathetic which means passion or suffering. You will be strong support if you share bad news with patients using your emotions.
5. Do not shield patients from the facts
Avoiding bad news or failing to fully communicate the severity of the situation is two of the gravest mistakes when delivering it.
6. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience
What would you do if this news came your way? Consider what information is most important to them, and make sure you provide it.
7. Using SPIKES Communication
SPIKES (Setting Perspective/Perception Invitation Knowledge Empathy/Emotion Summary/Strategy) can be used in numerous situations to deliver bad news. It allows you to easily enter a conversation, and let the other person have whatever reaction they want at that moment.
8. Identify Solutions
Before you meet with another person, try to find multiple solutions. This is important because once the meeting starts, you might get emotionally involved and find it difficult to think of solutions under pressure. If you are prepared with solutions, it will show professionalism and that you are focused on the future.
You’ve likely had to give bad news at some point in your career, no matter what role you hold. Your career can be affected by how you communicate in these situations. It is important to learn how to communicate effectively.
A buffer statement or cushion statement, explanation, the negative information itself and a redirecting sentence are all necessary to deliver negative news. No matter what approach you take, your message must be clear and concise, and with respect for both the receiver and the organisation.
It is possible to strengthen relationships with your colleagues by sharing bad news well. It’s worth it to learn how to do it well!