Communicating Change -The Message

Since we have indicated that communication involves sending a variety of important messages, it is important that when you communicate about change you know what kind of messages you wish to send, and the what you want people to  take away from your communication.

Whenever you communicate to employees about change, you should be striving to convey the following position.

A) That you are personally committed to the change, and seeing it through, even if it  has negative consequences.
B) That you recognize that the change negatively impacts upon some people.
C) That you are open to discussion of the feelings of employees regarding the  change.
D That you are confident that the “team” can make it through the changes.
E) That you want and need input to make the changes work.

Sometimes you won’t be committed to the change, or you won’t be very confident that you and your staff can pull it off, particularly when the change is imposed from above.  While some may disagree, it is important that you still convey an image of strength and commitment despite your own misgivings.  The change leader has a role to play, and if you have misgivings or strong negative emotional reactions of your own it may be more effective if you underplay them.  If you show anger about a change, you may legitimize the same kind of negative  behaviour in your staff.

While you shouldn’t hide your own negative reactions completely, it is probably wise to keep them in the background by stating them in a matter of fact way and moving on.

 

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