Due to circumstances beyond our control …

If there’s one thing guaranteed to get people’s backs up, it’s that phrase. What does it mean?

Evidently, there are circumstances that can happen to affect any event, causing cancellations and disruptions. But when you’re telling people who will potentially be feeling a number of emotions including disappointment, irritation, frustration, anger, that phrase is a total cop out!

For instance, a popular outdoor event was recently cancelled, and communicated by twitter.

“Today’s event is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control”

It leaves you thinking “what circumstances?” “Why?” A more detailed email was sent out that explained it was due to heavy rain and flooding. So why not say on twitter …

“Today’s event is cancelled due to heavy rain and flooding”

Even though it’s shorter, it says more! It’s much more communicative and helps people to understand the reason behind the decision, therefore making it more acceptable. However frustrated or upset somebody is, they can rationalise that nobody can do anything about the weather.

When people can understand a decision, they can relate to it better

If you’ve got bad news to pass on, think about the people receiving it. What will help them understand and even empathise? Don’t go for the meaningless phrase that says nothing and implies lack of thought.

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