Just give it to me straight, doc

Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

IF you’re de­liv­er­ing some bad news, it’s best not to beat about the bush.

Re­search shows that when re­ceiv­ing up­set­ting in­for­ma­tion, we pre­fer di­rect­ness, can­dour and lit­tle or no buf­fer.

In the US study, par­tic­i­pants were of­fered var­ied forms of tex­tual and ver­bal bad news.

The au­thors found that if some­one was re­ceiv­ing bad news about a so­cial re­la­tion- ship, such as “I’m break­ing up with you”, they val­ued di­rect­ness over a long lead-in.

Co-au­thor Pro­fes­sor Alan Man­ning, of Brigham Young Univer­sity in Utah, said: “An im­me­di­ate ‘I’m break­ing up with you’ might be too di­rect.

“But all you need is a ‘we need to talk’ buf­fer — just a cou­ple of sec­onds for the per­son to process that bad news is com­ing.”

When it comes to re­ceiv­ing nega­tive in­for­ma­tion about facts, such as “you’re dy­ing”, most peo­ple want it im­me­di­ately.

In the trial, 145 vol­un­teers re­ceived a range of bad-news sce­nar­ios, and with each they were given two de­liv­er­ies.

The re­search, pub­lished in the pro­ceed­ings of the In­ter­na­tional Pro­fes­sional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Con­fer­ence 2017, found that par­tic­i­pants mostly val­ued clar­ity and di­rect­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.