When it comes to delivering bad news, positive broadcasters follow the four Cs:
1. Create social capital. When a person builds a social network of people willing to support his or her actions, it is easier to face challenges. This can be done by engaging in positive network-building activities or by simply greeting someone with a friendly smile. Positive broadcasters build social capital through the following:
*Shared activity. The best and easiest way to build social capital is to meet for drinks, play a sport, volunteer with others, etc.
*Celebrate publicly often. Praising others for their contributions builds goodwill.
*Take five. People who want to become positive broadcasters should have 5-minute conversations with others in their networks each day.
*Call someone out. A great way to build trust is to recognize another person’s character strengths and compliment them.
2. Give context. When delivering bad news, a person should offer details that show he or she understands the situation from the other person’s point of view. It is also a good idea to offer a rationale for the situation and specifics on the ramifications. Finally, positive broadcasters should be careful to avoid framing the news in a narrow (by only offering some facts) or binary (by casting the situation as win/lose) way.
3. Express compassion. The most important thing a person can do when delivering bad news is acknowledge another’s stress, suffering, or misfortunes.
4. Stay committed. Positive broadcasters back up their words with actions. Negative news is easier to accept when it is accompanied by a plan and actions to make things better.