The use of a dog as a buffer by the by the adviser was not a good idea. This is because it only acts to distance herself from a flunking undergraduate and this robs the undergraduate a sense of belonging. It would look that the professor was using the dog as a buffer to guard herself from possible antagonism from flunking undergraduates. However, her experience over the years where she may have received bad news in the past should teach her the right way to interact with students while delivering bad news. There is a common understanding that a leader must be able to communicate clearly and the toughest challenge is communicating bad news.
A friend of mine recently received a memo to the effect that her job contract had been terminated and received a buffer in terms of intimidation and subsequent denial of accessibility to his former work place. The news was hard to take because she had not been given an opportunity to explain herself. She was very bitter about this and even threatened to sue since natural justice demand that every person has a right to be heard. Upon receiving the news, she became rowdy and threw herself all over, I was not calm either and I felt awful but I had to look calm and try to offer emphatic reactions. What made it had to take the news was the manner of her dismissal.
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The video shows the Sheriff of Rottingham trying to tell Prince John that Robin Hood has come from the crusades. It presents the issue of relaying bad news in the best way possible especially in a situation where relaying such news however bad is inevitable. As a matter of fact, bad news come with very strong sentiments and a person communicating such news must at all times acknowledge those reactions. Acknowledgement may include that the person delivering the news should not get emotional, provide legitimate emotions such as empathy, having a communication strategy and choosing words wisely. Developing a strong connection first and then adopting a soft transition is one of the best ways of communicating bad news.