Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Communicate more effectively to Enabling Changes

Business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability.

Change is inevitable, but the majority of organizational change initiatives fail to achieve the expected result. Communication is the key, but how to communicate more effectively to enabling changes? Which methods connect best with organizations to support leadership and change, The more virtual your organization is through distance, location or shift, the more time you have to think about messages. What are they? How are they delivered? How do I make sure everyone gets the same message?



The thoughts are shared and interpreted between multiple entities. Decades of effort has been put into means of communicating the vision and so on, but it obviously still remains a problem. As new technology has come along, it has provided yet more channels for communication. Even with new channels, people appear to struggle grasping the vision and views management want to get across. Perhaps, we can also say, it is all about SHARING. We can achieve an effective communication when we make sure our desired thought is interpreted between multiple entities and acted on in the desired way. To make sure a mission or a vision is acted in the desired way is to confirm your team's understanding of what you want them to understand. The process of building and sustaining trusting relationships has always been the effective vehicle of choice in working with people in whatever environment. Redundancy in communicating verbal messages is important as it offers an anchor/focus when stressed. You should not dismiss it as silly buzzwords.


Confirm your team’s understanding: Confirming understanding is the one that is always missed, and too many leaders wonder what happens. You can not make assumptions that the other person understood what was communicated by observing their body language without confirming with their understanding. Always confirm other people's understanding of what was communicated to save time and frustration in the future. As a leader, you must follow-up to get feedback which can also be a way to confirm your team's understanding of your communication and to catch errors and correct them on time.


The reality of messages is they have to be "real." There is clutter and in today's world, it grows exponentially every day. Which ones connect best with organizations to support leadership and change? And what messages or vehicles have you used to cut through the clutter, clarify a leadership vision or unify organizations around a change? Change is always occurring even if we cannot see it or measure it. So much of what we COMMUNICATE to each other is non-verbal- actions speak louder than words. The verbal or text communication will fall on deaf ears if the intentions/actions/behaviors aren't in alignment with the vision, mission, and intention of the person/organization delivering the verbal messages.


Trust: In the environment which lacks mutual trust, no art or science of communication is going to be effective in making people believe and accept the change initiative. Once you have trust, involve them in determining what the change is and how it can be done and then make sure the sacrifices they have to make are insignificant compared to the benefit they will receive. Obviously, in a large company, you cannot involve 100% of the people in how to make the change, but you can surely use some solid representation from each level of the organization. It's all about communication, straight on, via any and every vehicle. Also, being open and available for dialogue is important. What people really want to know (in order) is:
-How will this change benefit me (WIFM)?
-Is this change worth the sacrifice I will have to make?
-Can I be part of the change early on? (Meaning, "did you ask for my input?)
-Do I trust the people leading the change?
- Is it inclusive or exclusive?

Business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Organizations just have to walk the talk (practice their change strategy), to figure out the big ‘HOW’ for connecting best with organizations to support leadership and change.

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