Have you ever received bad news? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, we have all received bad news at some point.
As much as we don’t like receiving bad news, we also don’t enjoy being the bearer of bad news.
Five years ago, my husband and I received what many would consider devastating news. I was diagnosed with cancer. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office as she shared the test results. Once my doctor finished, she paused to wait for our response.
In his normal tone my husband asked “what are the next steps?” Four the next 20 minutes, we discussed the treatment plan. As we prepared to leave, my doctor told us she was surprised by our response to the diagnosis. She explained most patients respond very emotionally, however our response was very matter of fact. But, more on that later…
Sharing bad news is an integral part of a doctor’s practice. Some doctors are better than others in delivering the news. Why? Because they understand the ebb and flow of communication. According to Joe Tabers, “Good communication requires practice. Practice requires taking responsibility and making the effort to work at it!”
Leaders, don’t wait until your next gathering to deliver information! In addition to face-to-face, there are many different channels of communication today that you can engage.
Ensure that the information shared is timely and useful. It should add value to your audience. Once you are able to build a certain level of interest, people will always look forward to what you have to say.
Dr. Sharon Spano stated, “Being a proactive communicator is a process. We never get it right all the time. Practice and train as though your experience of life depends on how you communicate.”
The following four steps will help will millennial leaders become more proactive in their communications:
- Develop proactive patterns of communication
- Manage the meaning of your communication
- Practice intentional one-on-one communication
- Promote a proactive culture of communication
As a leader, I prefer to receive information sooner rather than later. Why? Because news, good or bad, doesn’t get better with time!
To quote Paul Harvey “now for the rest of the story.” Why did we respond so calmly to the cancer diagnosis? We are people of faith! God granted us the peace that surpasses all understanding. He blessed us with great doctors. I am happy to report I’m cancer free! Praise God!
Zig Ziglar said “In many ways, effective communication begins with mutual respect, communication that inspires, encourages, or instructs others to do their best.”
Proactive communications promote an environment of trust, build moral and allow leaders to add value to others.
Are your communications proactive?
Dr. Kim Moore, your guide to leading with confidence!
Kim D. Moore
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