Might your need to be better at breaking bad news
be met by this London UK management training course
called Skills with People?
Yes if you agree with any of the following
- What makes me afraid of breaking bad news is that I don't know how people will react.
- I'm afraid they'll react emotionally and I won't know how to handle it.
- Unfortunately breaking bad news is something I have to do from time to time, but I dread it.
- Alternative scenario - Breaking bad news doesn't bother me. It's not my responsibility to feather-bed people. They should take it rationally. Sometimes you have to be tough.
What you'll take away from this course
It'll help you develop the understanding and skill you need for calming people down in situations where they're likely to be alarmed and make irrational decisions - like when breaking bad news. Of course this won't make it easy to break bad news, but it make it easier, because you'll be able to influence how rational people are when they receive it.
If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.
How to accept this offer
Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session.
What this session will do for you
In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.
You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).
Price, dates and location of our upcoming public courses
For details of our upcoming public courses see course dates.
How the skills you'll practise on this course
will make you more confident and helpful
when you're breaking bad news
Here's a example of someone who became much more successful at his job as a result of learning how to turn people's negative emotional reaction to receiving bad news into a much more open-minded and receptive response.
Frank was a customer service engineer working for a software company. The software he'd been supporting had just been replaced by a superior product from the software development department. It was his job to break the news to customers and hold their hands in the transition to the upgrade. The trouble was it wasn't all good news. Not only were customers going to have to pay more. They were also going to have to change working practices in order to benefit from the added functionality of the new software. On both counts he expected a strong negative reaction from some of his customers.
What he'd learned about breaking bad news
One of the main things he'd learned on our course was that negative reactions to bad news are a perfectly normal human response. But if instead of trying to reason with them you can be more patient, show more understanding of what it feels like to be in their shoes, and encourage them to let off steam, they'll soon calm down and become much more receptive. To achieve this he had to master the skill of listening with empathy.
How he used what he'd learned
Taking each of his customer companies in turn, he arranged a meeting on the customer's premises to which he invited the key people in the company who would be affected by the change. His purpose was to break the news about the change and win their acceptance of it.
Here's how he ran the meeting:
- "Thanks for coming to this meeting. My purpose is to break some news to you about a significant change we've made in the software you're using. I realise this is going to have practical implications and ring some alarm bells, and that you'll have serious questions and concerns about it. I'll do my best explain the changes and their benefits, and also to satisfy you on all your concerns.
- "What I invite you to do in this meeting is - as soon as a concern or question comes into your mind, call it out. Please don't sit there nursing it. I'll respond by first making sure I understand it and then writing it on this flip chart, and it won't be crossed off until you're satisfied with the answer. So please interrupt me."
- Someone at the meeting shouted out, "It's been a hell of a job getting on top the software we're using now. It may not be perfect, but surely, better the devil you know!"
- Instead of rushing to answer this, Frank thoughtfully reflected back what he deduced was the concern behind this apparently negative comment: "You're saying it's a major headache everytime you have to convert to new software. So you'll obviously need to be convinced it's really necessary and worthwhile before you'll agree to it."
- "Exactly!" said the person who made the comment, sounding surprised at being taken so seriously and understood so well.
- Frank wrote,"Item 1. Is an upgrade necessary and worthwhile?", on the flip chart. Then he said, "Thank you for this. I'll do my best to convince you, but first let's have some more questions and concerns on our list?"
Already the atmosphere was warming up. Because Frank was showing he was taking them seriously, lots more questions and concerns followed, and because he received each one with respect and understanding his customers relaxed and their confidence in him kept growing, even before they'd heard any of his answers. The more understood they felt the more they trusted him. He took care not to start trying to answer any of the questions on the flip chart until they'd had a chance to get their feelings off their chest. By the time he was ready to start giving answers to the questions on the flip chart the atmosphere at the meeting had become very receptive.