Communicating with the bereaved

A half- or one-day workshop

From time to time, anyone dealing with customers will have challenging situations to deal with. It just goes with the territory. It’s inevitable.

Properly prepared, however, dealing with a challenging situation doesn’t have to be a stressful, difficult or negative experience. Competence, courtesy and confidence are ‘all’ it takes. Perhaps ‘all’ sounds like quite a lot? That’s where this workshop comes in.


The aim of this programme is to help participants:

  • Identify the stages of bereavement that individuals may experience
  • Avoid the key mistakes that people can make with the bereaved
  • Be able to explain the Egan three-stage module for communicating with people who have been bereaved
  • Use different communication processes appropriately, including questioning, listening and summarising
  • Use empathy to demonstrate understanding
  • Introduce sources of help sensitively and appropriately

Who should attend?

The programme is suitable for anyone who comes into contact with bereaved families.

This includes but is not limited to care staff, scheme managers, Registrars and social workers, customer service teams and team leaders within organisations such as financial services and utilities.


This is a practical and engaging session which can be run as either a half- or a full-day session. It makes use of a variety of learning methods including tutor input, paired activities and practise sessions. Some modest role play is included, although this is not ‘front of class’ and is carried out in pairs. The style is very facilitative and learner-centred, taking into account the needs and preferences of the group on the day whilst at the same time delivering the programme as agreed with the client in order to meet the specified learning objectives.

Expert trainer

Miranda has more than twenty years’ experience as an independent learning and development consultant and trainer. Much of her work is focused on the public service and VCSE sectors.

She started her career working within the Management Development Unit of the Printing and Publishing Industry Training Board, moving on to a role in the Probation Office’s learning and development team before leaping across into financial services, where she was responsible for the Learning and Development of a major high street lender.

In 1992 she started her own learning and development consultancy. Working with a range of clients – including many of the locally based councils around Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire – Miranda’s expertise is in helping organisations to identify learning gaps, and to develop tailored, creative and relevant strategies for meeting these needs with a view to helping organisations to meet their objectives.

In addition to her professional role, Miranda is also very involved in local community development activities. She is Chair of a local homelessness charity and has been instrumental in developing and facilitating community leadership programmes in both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

See what programme participants say about Miranda’s training:

‘Superb. Clear, warm, engaging – and very well informed.’

‘Engaging and pitched very appropriately for the audience today.’


‘Lively, focused, keeps it interesting.’

‘Very funny and enthusiastic.’

‘Excellent presentation style.’




‘A lot of fun.’

‘Miranda is very engaging, warm and welcoming, great trainer.’

‘She is absolutely lovely!’

‘Very bubbly manner and clearly deeply knowledgeable about her subject.’

‘Very personable and engaging’

1 Understanding bereavement

  • Bereavement and loss
  • Stages of bereavement

2 Fundamentals

  • Identifying what our role is – and what it isn’t
  • Common mistakes when communicating with the bereaved
  • Communication styles to avoid
  • Behaviours to adopt
  • Behaviours to avoid

3 Communication style

  • Voice and tonality
  • Questioning skills
  • Listening skills
  • Non-verbal behaviours
  • Using summarising techniques
  • Awareness of cultural diversity in bereavement
  • Avoiding becoming hooked into someone’s grief
  • The ‘drama triangle’

4 Safeguarding and signposting

  • Basic introduction to safeguarding
  • Safeguarding fundamentals
  • Signposting to other support agencies
  • Taking care of us

To check that this is the right programme for you, just give us a call on 01582 463464 and we’ll be happy to talk it through with you – we’re here to help!