Communication During Change - You Must Drive The Narrative

There are times when changes need to be made, as a leader this is one of your most critical times and it will probably define if you are successful or not. It doesn't matter what the change is. It could be having to lay off a bunch of workers, bench your player that has started all year, or implement a new process or policy. The way you handle communication during those moments of transition are vital.

The most common mistake people make, they think they are clear. They explained it once, sent out a memo or told their direct reports and told them to pass along the information. Whatever method you used I guarantee you it wasn't enough. Change is hard and you need to repeat the message to make sure it is clear, consistent and everyone is actually on the same page.

The other factor that most often gets overlooked is how much people will talk to each other. You can end every email, speech and memo with an invite to ask any questions, yet people will talk to each other more than they will talk to the leader. It is kind of like receiving negative feedback where they say for every one negative comment you receive there are ten more just like it that just didn't bother sharing their feedback. That conversation is going to happen and if you aren't driving the narrative the conversation will morph and the people will create their own narrative.

If you want to have a successful team it starts with communication and the most critical time for communication is during times of transition.


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