• Always investigate prior expectations: what the person knows already about what you are going
to tell them
• Give them an idea of the nature of what you have to say (unexpected/difficult) and get their ok /
some kind of indication that it is ok to continue
• If it is something which might be difficult for them to hear, warn them first of this
• When you say the difficult thing/news/request, say nothing for a second to allow it to sink in
• Demonstrate that you appreciate that whatever you have just said/asked etc .is difficult
• Use a feeling word e.g. ‘must be a shock, annoying, difficult, frustrating ‘etc.
• Wait to see if they have questions/need for follow-up etc.