You borrowed your friend’s camera for a school photography project. You were taking some photos of some buildings and accidentally dropped it onto the pavement. It resulted in you braking the lens. You cannot afford to replace it at this stage.
Please inform your friend.
When breaking bad news you can use the SPIKES framework to structure your interaction.
- Invitation (not relevant in this scenario)
- Emotions and empathy
- Strategy and Summary
Ensure that you are telling your friend that their camera is broken in an appropriate setting. If the camera is of sentimental value to your friend make sure they are sitting down/comfortable.
Make sure they have time to process the information e.g. don’t tell them right before they are about to sit an exam or something.
Explain the sequence of events e.g.
“Thank you very much for letting me borrow your camera for my school project”
Deliver information in sizable chunks.
Use warning shots
Allow time for your friend to process the information
“ I’m afraid I have some bad news about your camera” – Warning shot
“I was using it to take some photos of buildings downtown”
“And I dropped it on the pavement”
“I am really sorry but the lens is broken as a result of me dropping it”
Pause – allow this information to be processed.
Emotions and empathy.
Acknowledge the emotions and body language of your friend. E.g. “I understand that this is extremely upsetting news for you, and I am really sorry”
Strategy and Summary
Make a plan and agree the next steps. An example below.
“Unfortunately I cannot afford to replace the lens at this point in time”
“I will speak to my parents about lending me the money in order to replace the lens”
“I will get a part time job in order to pay for a replacement lens”