Cloud Front

It’s probably the last conversation you want to have with someone.

You’re fired.

We’re done.

You have cancer.

I’m sorry; he has died.

Bad news comes in many forms but the delivery is the same.

That awkward moment when the other person may suspect something is amiss or totally unaware that tragedy has visited. It’s a conversation I don’t believe people – empathetic people ever get used to having. Doctors and healthcare people have an over abundance of bad news conversations but I believe humanity makes us feel for the receiving person.

Most of us would rather that bad news delivery be done in some other way.

Face to face is the best but most emotionally charged. The phone call seems less personal. It lets the person who has just been told something has changed in their life an opportunity to just hang up and stop the conversation. I understand that texting is common for youthful breakups.

That last method is a key indicator that our humanity is becoming less connected emotionally the more we become technologically connected. Just a thought.

And, the letter or email. More remote. More official than personable.

Why do we shun the conversation? Uncomfortable feelings are at the top of the list. Maybe we aren’t sure on the right words. And, the feared emotional outburst. Will we be able to comfort or do we even want to try?

I don’t have a step by step instruction on how to best deliver bad news. It’s dependent on the situation. But, what I can offer is the hope that empathy flows through you during the conversation and judgement pushed aside.  I hope that you can feel what it is like standing in that person’s shoes and act from the heart.

It’s why we are human.