effective communication negative information

At some point or other, whether you are a family, friend, acquaintance or a boss, you will have to communicate to someone information that they do not want to hear.

What is the normal reaction for a person when hearing something they don’t want to hear? They get emotional, defensive, angry, or quiet.

The most obvious is emotions, because this is the alarm system that something has thrown us off kilter. This is determined by what we expect, compared with what happens or in this case what is said.

The first important part to consider, is this is an unexpected challenge for the person receiving the information. This could be quite overwhelming. It is important to note the reaction of the person. If it is possible to further confront the individual. It is important to acknowledge that in facing this stressful information the person needs to understand where this information comes from and what does it mean to them.

Remember this is a cognitive process to file the new information into the database, and organise and sort it and maybe merge or alter previous information stored.

Points to remember:

  • Take time to prepare what you are going to say
  • Be direct and clear
  • Be positive, project positivity
  • Deliver the information in a relaxed environment with time to spare
  • Give details, explain and background information
  • A person’s beliefs, interpretations and self-esteem need to be understood in the context of what is being said
  • Don’t be personal, keep it objective but kind
  • Be sympathetic and patient
  • Don’t raise your voice, keep a calm tone
  • Allow the person to talk
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