If you hear something sad or disturbing that you weren’t expecting, don’t just say the first thing that comes to your mind.
Take a deep breath and count to five. Then, think about what is most important to you at that moment. Is it making the person in front of you feel better? Is it expressing disappointment? Is it remaining professional?
Whatever it is, choose the words that will help you achieve that goal. Here are a few helpful suggestions for how to respond to different kinds of bad news.