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• 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.

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