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50 ways to leave your lover – a communications challenge for Valentine’s Day

According to Neil Simon, there are 50 ways to leave your lover. According to one disgraced former MP, one way to break the bad news is during half time of a World Cup football match. That would be number 51 on my list.

If you put the emotion to one side and think of it simply as a piece of communication, there are some particular challenges for the individual wielding the axe. So, here’s my guide to planning the perfect break up, based on some universal rules of good communication:

1. Carefully plan the timing and location of the event
2. Plan your key messages, ensuring that they are appropriate and relevant for your ‘audience’
3. Think what you want them to remember about what you’ve said
4. Rehearse your ‘delivery’, paying special attention to pace and tone of voice
5. Communicate the news simply and clearly and with integrity
6. Anticipate difficult questions and have answers ready
7. Plan a strong ending for the event which brings it to a definite close

Overall, remember, this piece of communication is for them, not for you. If you put your audience at the heart of your planning, you won’t go far wrong.

Unlike the guy who ended a relationship, in a public place, by lying to his girlfriend that he was in love with her mother. Let’s hope what goes around, really does come around. And, by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!