Breaking Bad News - Training for Managers & Professionals


Master Empathy

Learn to break bad news with empathy, turning negative reactions into open-minded responses confidently.

Coaching Support

Exceptional support with one-to-one coaching ensures lasting behavioral improvements and trust-building skills.

Stronger Relationships

Skills development for managing difficult conversations leads to stronger, lasting relationships in all aspects of life.

Refine your communication skills by learning to harness your emotional intelligence with one of the UK's most acclaimed management training courses.

Why Choose This Training?

More Than Just A Course Of Lectures

What gets in the way of developing and holding on to new communication skills are old habits of thinking and speaking. Even if the advice is very good the reason why it rarely sticks are the mental habits people inevitably revert to, especially under pressure.

Unlearning those old habits and internalising a more effective and lasting approach to communication needs more than a short course of lectures on how to do it.

What Makes This Training Stand Out?

What makes this training stand out is the exceptional support through one-to-one coaching sessions and continuous feedback. Changing behaviour is not an easy task as old habits are hard to break.

With a 40-year track record we can help you cultivate practical skills, and build your confidence to so you can successfully navigate real-world challenges, ensuring lasting behavioural improvements.


Join thousands of participants getting results

"What I love about this course is that I didn't just learn about the topic, this course is about ME.  I'm confident I can reliably use my new skills, even when under pressure".

5 stars

A Project Manager At A Tech Company

"A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listening with empathy" and "speaking assertively"

5 stars

A Project Quality Engineer

Clients We Have Worked With

Well-known companies who have used this course again and again, over many years

  • Amgen 3
  • BBC
  • aunt bessies
  • Cargill 2
  • Heinz Logo 3
  • Civil service
  • NHS 2
  • Kelloggs Logo 2
  • IGT
  • JM 4 copy
  • Schweppes 3 logo
  • Castrol 3
  • Dewhirst 2
  • avon logo png
  • Nestle Logo
  • RSPB Logo 2022
  • Shell
  • UNHCR 3
  • unilever 2
  • BP 2
  • FBN 2

Course Summary

Training Objectives

This course is designed to help you developp your skills for breaking bad news, allowing you to turn negative reactions into a more open-minded responses. You'll learn to speak assertively and listen with empathy. By inviting people to voice their concerns and answering each one with respect and understanding, you'll be able to create a more receptive atmosphere and build trust.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

You will learn a set of powerful emotional intelligence communication techniques so that you can manage difficult conversations, handle challenging situations, build relationships and set firm boundaries.

Transferable Skills

The goal of this training is to equip you with the tools they need to build strong, lasting relationships in your professional life, although because these skills are so transferable many clients report vast improvements in their personal relationships as well.

Develop Skills

This is a skills development rather than just a theoretical programme, so the emphasis throughout will be on you taking turn after turn, practising your skills, while receiving feedback and coaching about your effect on others.

Repeated Practice and Feedback

In your coaching sessions you will be helped to practise dealing with the kinds of situation you find challenging, again and again, until you are confident you can do it successfully.

Video Analysis

We'll combine practical, hands-on experience with video replay and analysis and discussion of the principles involved to help you gain both skills and understanding. Special attention is paid to your individual training needs, so you can practise your skills in real-life situations that you have to handle at work.

Sustained Change

That's why as well as your place in a small group, this training includes a generous amount of private and confidential one-to-one coaching sessions online, spread over several months, ensuring an exceptional level of support. This will ensure the changes you make are sustained over a longer period of time and any obstacles are overcome. Choose between online training available worldwide, or in-person face-to-face courses in the UK.

Course Dates and Price

For a list of upcoming course dates (for online coaching and face-to-face training), the locations of the next 3-day public courses in the UK and pricing Click here.

Free Initial Session

This initial coaching session serves as an introduction to the "Skills with People" course, allowing you to understand the course's relevance and effectiveness for your specific needs before committing to it.

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Assertiveness, Listening Skills & Emotional Intelligence Training

Might This Breaking Bad News Training Meet Your Needs?

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.

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How aware are you of your effect on others?

What You'll Take Away From This Course On Breaking Bad News

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.

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She now feels more confident in tackling people

Skills That Will Give You Confidence When Breaking Bad News

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.

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Learn how to be soft on the person yet tough on the issue

Further Reading

More information on this website relevant to breaking bad news

You might also find our pages on influence and persuasion and emotional intelligence relevant and helpful.

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Get Started Now

Free exploratory coaching session

The first session is free so you're not committing yourself until you're sure this training is relevant for you. You will also learn something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work.

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