No one likes being the bearer of bad news, but sometimes, you’ll have to play that role as a business owner. Perhaps you’ve lost a big client, you have to close a satellite location or you have to let people go. Often, the only appropriate person to share that news with your team is you.

So how do you deliver the news without wrecking morale?

It’s all in your approach. Here are some strategies that will help you handle the situation constructively and confidently.

Get your emotions in check.

Nonverbal clues will telegraph more to your team than any words you say, so make sure to get your emotions under control before you deliver your message. Do deep breathing, call a friend for a pep talk or take a walk around the block—whatever it takes to deliver your message calmly. Whatever emotions you display will influence how your team hears your message.

That doesn’t mean you need to deliver the news in a robotic monotone. No one is going to fault you if you seem sad when delivering news of a business setback or choke up because a beloved employee is retiring. Just make sure you’re composed enough when delivering your message that you don’t lose control entirely, which will not be good for morale. If you’re worried you won’t be able to get through the entire message, designate a second-in-command to deliver part of it.

Plan ahead.

When you have bad news to deliver, don’t wing it. Consider the information you need to share with people in advance, along with the follow-up information you will need to give them.

Generally, it’s best to share bad news on a need-to-know basis. Keep your message as brief and to-the-point as possible, and resist long explanations. For instance, while you may tell your CFO privately that you have to shutter a second office because a big client has defaulted on a debt, the news of the default isn’t something that your whole team needs to hear. Most employees will just want to know how the change affects them personally, so focus your message on those details.

Put it in writing.

Bad news can be charged with emotion, and it may be hard for employees to remember all that you said after you make an announcement because of that. Providing a written handout or emailed summary can be a good way to summarize the message, so they can review the details later.

For instance, if you are closing one of two consulting locations you own, your memo might include the date the location will be closing and where its employees will be reassigned. If you are laying people off, handing out a packet with information on how to continue their health plan and other related matters will be helpful.

Consider privacy issues.

Some news is best shared behind closed doors. If you are laying off everyone in the company, then an all-hands meeting is more appropriate. However, if you have to let three out of 20 people go, then telling them privately is generally best. Some departing team members may wish to negotiate arrangements with you about how their employment status is shared with others—something you will prevent if you make a broad announcement. When in doubt, ask a trained human resources professional on how to handle news like this.

If you have to fire someone, resist the urge to discuss the reasons with anyone other than that person’s direct supervisor. How you handle the situation may be legally sensitive, and the less said to others, the better.

Follow up appropriately.

Sometimes, employees may be in shock when they first hear bad news. For instance, if a tenured employee learns they will be losing their job in two weeks or someone on their immediate team has become seriously ill, it may be hard for them to process the situation immediately.

Give them a couple of days to absorb the information and then touch base to see if there is any additional information they need or anything you can do to help. Even if you have had to make a tough business decision that affects them, showing that you care can go a long way for both the employees who are affected and the team members who will still be working with you.

No one likes discussing bad news, but if you handle it sensitively and calmly, you’ll set a powerful example for your team as a leader.