Change and Communication. Everyone – including me! – tells you to communicate about change.
Tell people the why, what, and how. Multiple times. Listen to what they have to say – they’ll have valuable input. And they’ll help you understand how the change is affecting them, so you’ll know how to respond.
And it’s all true.
But there’s one thing people don’t always think about, and that’s to be careful about what you say.
I am not in any way suggesting you should hold back (unless there’s confidentiality involved, of course). Or that you should be even a little dishonest, even if what you have to say isn’t what people want to hear.
But! Don’t plant seeds that will grow into weeds.
Find out what people are concerned about first, before you try to reassure them about what you think they’re concerned about.
If they’re not worried about layoffs, but instead are anxious about workload, and you tell them, “There will be no layoffs!”, they’ll immediately start spreading rumors about layoffs. It’s inevitable.
So be careful what you say. Make sure it ties directly to what they’re actually wondering about – and that you know what they’re wondering about because they’ve told you.
Communicate. But communicate with care, and be sure that you’re listening (an essential part of communication) as much as you’re speaking.
Need some input on your change communication plan, including who, what, when, and how? Contact me and we’ll set a time!