Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better Ways to Deliver Bad News

Good Ways to Deliver Bad News
By: Curtis Sittenfeld
Wed Dec 19, 2007

During the course of Staff Training, I heard a few people mention the counselor's role as the voice of reason. Jim mentioned that advisors must be there to tell the truth because most likely most others will find it difficult to do so. The fact it is, it is difficult to deliver news that is painful to hear. Dr. Robert Buckman, a cancer specialist having been through delivering the worst kind of news, developed a protocol.
The protocol that Buckman developed has caught on. He teaches it to doctors, to medical students -- and to businesspeople, including executives at IBM, Andersen Consulting, and Upjohn. "Begin a difficult conversation by listening," he says. "And end it by summarizing: Review the ground you've covered, identify a plan, agree on a 'contract' for the next contact."

You can read about how to apply the protocol in this article. Maybe we can take something from this to help to keep the other side receptive when they'd rather run from the room.

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