I wanted to take my earlier post on creating urgency further today and discuss how you can avoid creating panic. So I started to do some research.
On what is a very “well respected” website that probably should be nameless, I came across the following headline
“Let it rip: announcing change all at once may hurt in the short term, but it gets the pain over with quickly and then employees can move on!”
Further on in the same article I came across the following, from a communications’ consultancy in response to the question of why change announcements are often badly received.
“They don’t take change well because when it comes to communicating changes to employees, every company does it badly.”
You could say they would say that wouldn’t they. But I regard it as a dangerous statement and the degree of naivety around both these pieces of advice is sad to behold!
Yes, people do need the truth about change and as much information as you can give them about how it is going to affect them. You need to tell them what you know and what you don’t know and how you are going to bridge the gap.
But you don’t let rip! That way lies panic!
Information needs to be given in a measured and honest way.
However well you do it, if it is a significant change, I am afraid there is likely to be pain. And, no, it won’t be over quickly because you “let rip”! But being honest and conveying the message (and your vision) well, can lessen the pain and avoid panic.
All kinds of feelings may emerge when people are faced with change. How the message is conveyed is only part of the picture.
Nor is it true that every company does it badly but unfortunately many don’t do it well.
So on Friday, I’ll be writing here about how to give your own people bad news and how to control your own feelings in the process. I want you to be able to do your best to help them!
In the meantime, I’d welcome your thoughts and observations.
- Leading Change – knowing what a sense of urgency really means!(wisewolftalking.com)
- Managing Change! Is it painful? You bet it is! (wisewolftalking.com)
- Your Sense of Urgency (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- Business Change: A Sense of Urgency (martinwebster.eu)
Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring ++44(0)786768143