June 11, 2021 by Julie Elliott, President
My elbow had been hurting for a couple of months and I was pretty sure it was a tendon. When the nurse was checking me in, she mentioned she had trouble with her elbow and proceeded to show me a knot protruding from the joint and said she’d known others with elbow issues. “It’s good you’re getting it checked out,” she said solemnly, “because my friend’s friend had the same thing, thought it was nothing but it was cancer and they had to amputate her arm. The nurse practitioner will be in shortly.”
While my injury turned out to be minor, the whole experience that day made me think about delivering bad news. Timing and tone really make a difference when the recipient may not be ready for what you have to say.
While cooperatives have many positive messages, not all are great, so here are four basic reminders about being the bearer of you-know-what:
While we might prefer shying away from bad news, handling it professionally will yield positive results. After all, people want to know what’s going on.
Just like friends who see a brace on my arm and wonder what happened. The common term is tennis elbow, but I haven’t played tennis in years. I think I’ll tell people that’s what it is anyway.
Tennis elbow sounds better than a more personalized name that reflects the repetitive motion which could have triggered my pain. “I have chips and salsa elbow,” just doesn’t sound right.