Avoid these change management issues at your peril
At the heart of any successful change management process is an Emotionally Intelligent Communication Strategy that takes into account the emotions of the relevant stakeholders. An effective communication strategy is all about buy-in: the reasons, benefits, way forward and the impact of that change.
An Emotionally Intelligent change management communication strategy needs to address key emotional issues
Address these 3 key questions:
1. What is the message?
- Share the problem before trying to sell a solution
- Connect the change to the reasons why
- Share a clear picture of your understanding and intentions
- Include the big picture – how does this impact them, and how do they fit in?
- Avoid jargon and corporate speak
2. What will actually be different?
Have a clear destination and motivation in mind. Beware of changing without a clear picture of where you are going. A particular change may seem important and urgent to the leadership of the organisation, but if the people who have to make it work can’t sink their teeth into it or if it seems a little abstract or vague, there will be no sense of urgency and it is likely to fail. Make it a priority to get the destination clear.
3. What is the real cost of the change?
The psychological transition members of the organisation have to undergo due to the change have a greater impact on engagement than the the situational changes. Managing this transition is about putting ourselves in the shoes of the impacted employees. We need to develop a perspective based on empathy. When the communication process recognises and affirms the employee’s realities and helps to bring them through the transition, it is far more effective. Failure to manage this psychological and emotional element of change will often sow the seeds of mistrust.
The guiding principles of an Emotionally Intelligent change management communication strategy are:
- A clear memorable message – one that speaks to the concerns of the listener
- Message resonance – the sincere emotional tone and delivery of the message
- Focus – reaching the right people with the right message
- Timing – repeat the ideas in different ways through different channels and ensure the messages are delivered in a timely manner
- Feedback – to support and maintain open two-way communication
Emotionally Intelligent communication is essential to avoid change management issues
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