The Good News About Giving Bad News

Having recently received bad news, I had the chance to reflect on the finesse required to deliver bad news. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the degree in which news is perceived as good or bad is often directly correlated to how the message is relayed.

Regardless of your occupation we’ve all had the opportunity to be on both the receiving and supplying ends of bad news. As receivers, there is only so much we can do. If we have a good outlook, and the bad news is not catastrophic, we often validate its impact on the world around us and set to work dealing with it. But, as deliverers, we have much more say in the matter. In these instances, we often have to deal with both the news and the fallout from delivering it. With this added weight also comes decision-making power on how we choose to relay that information. And, as contrary as it might sound, there are good ways to deliver bad news, and in fact, from a community and collaboration standpoint, bad news can actually be quite good.

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Fred Ende

Fred Ende is a New York educator. This article was adapted from his blog.