Monday, October 21, 2013

Communicating Changes That May Hurt

While lighthouses are a beacon of consistency, in business (and in life in general), change seems constant.

Some changes are beneficial and occur mostly under the control of management. Some changes occur outside of a company’s control and they can hurt.

In terms of change effectiveness, we have found that it is always best for leaders to be honest about change and how they view it. That is the way to gain the trust of employees who are quick to recognize a lack of authenticity. Employees want the truth as much as they look for a model to inspire them in how to accept painful changes.

Think of a difficult change…perhaps the loss of a beloved manager who is retiring. Change management training and consulting professionals offer advice on how to handle these changes in order to incur the least amount of upset. They recommend that leaders should not sugar-coat the change but acknowledge the loss. Such a change can be significant…especially to those employees most affected. Plan an appropriate gathering to honor the retiree and give employees an opportunity to express their feelings. Such rituals can help enormously to accept changes that hurt.

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