Communicating Change To Our Team
Recently I was having coffee with one of my mentors and we got to discussing the issue of bringing change to our organizations. He said something that really challenged me. He said that we have to make sure that we are not too far out in front of our team when leading toward change. He said if we are too far ahead of them, it won’t seem like we are leading them forward; it will appear, when there is “push back”, that we are actually coming “at them” as an adversary instead of leading them forward as a leader. Change always creates some level of tension, because change is hard for people. It’s imperative that we move forward with a team that has truly bought in to the change. Randy Pennington, in his book “Make Change Work”, says there are five primary questions people on your team will have. It’s imperative that we communicate well in addressing these questions. Here they are…
- From what to what? Tell me the specifics of what will be different in how we must think, act, and perform.
- What does this change mean for what I do and how I operate on a daily basis? This is the personal application extension of the previous question.
- Will this make a difference? Is there a good business reason for doing this? How will it help the business or team? It is okay if the change is purely for compliance reasons. Just tell me.
- How will success be measured? If you can’t measure success, how will you know that there has been a return on our effort and investment? And how will you know whether to reward or hold me accountable for my participation?
- What is the support level for this change? Do you, my boss, really believe in this, or is it another mandate from on high?
Are you ready to lead your team toward some type of change? Have you answered these questions for your team? How will you do so in the upcoming weeks?
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