I received some bad news today at work. Everything is good for me work-wise, but it was in regard to something my supervisor and I have worked hard to do over the last few years, and it might be changing, and in our eyes, not for the better.
The news was shared in an incredibly appropriate way, and my supervisor and I were given ample opportunity to share our thoughts and voice our concerns. Everything about how the situation was handled was exactly what I would want to do, if I were the one tasked with sharing negative news. But this post is about me as the receiver.
Because, even in those situations, getting bad news still hurts. It makes us angry, and frustrated, and requires us to take time in order to make sure we don’t react in ways that would be bad for everyone.
As I reflected on receiving that news, I realized that I need to continue to develop in two keys areas around how I receive news that is less than stellar.
First, I have to be willing to accept it. I tend to like to think of ways to push back, negotiate, etc., and while there is always a time and place for this, at some point, we have to begin thinking about how we are going to deal with the changes, rather than try and convince others (and myself) that those changes aren’t coming.
Second, I have to do even more pre-work to prevent those changes from ever coming to pass. Sometimes this is anticipated, but I did wonder about what I might have done prior in order to avoid having those changes happen at all.
Receiving bad news can’t always be avoided. But, in some cases we can shift its direction, and in all cases, we can find ways to be more accepting. I’ve got a lot of work to do here!