In a time of crisis, ask first "How will this response help"? - Deepstash
Receiving bad news

When you receive bad news, it's helpful to acknowledge that the messenger is not the cause. When we feel helpless within the situation, we often respond with anger at, or around, the person who has to let us know.

It is possible to choose a response that can help shift the situation rather than exacerbate it. Ask questions like:

  • What happened?
  • How?
  • What now?
  • What would you advise me to do?

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Don't:

  • Make the pain about you.
  • Have a go at them. "Why didn't you...?"
  • Spread gossip. If they ask, forward their message verbatim.
  • Give them advice.

Instead, ask them:

  • What would you like me to do? or What can I best do to help?
  • Would you like me to forward your message onto others?
  • Thank them for letting you know.
  • Support them by keeping their spirits up.
  • Listen and be sensitive to what they have asked.

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