Thursday, April 22, 2010

Change is Disorganizing: Communicating through the Fear

Learning is disorganizing -- as change occurs, we are forced to navigate unfamiliar territory to get to a new place. For most people, it's very uncomfortable.

We have a couple of choices. We can find a way to survive the unknown, despite the sense that we're riding waves and don't know where we'll land. We take control where we can find it, holding onto a branch here or there for the moment we float past.

The other alternative is to grit our teeth and refuse to budge, but we will move, or circumstances will move around us, regardless of our desire to stay put and keep everything the same.

What Does This Mean for Organisations?

Those who have responsibility for communication can either offer information in ways that help employees feel better OR give them impression that they're about to drown.

Unfortunately, as constant as change is in all organisations, even the most experienced communicators too often disseminate information without considering what the employee needs to feel more in control.

Even if it is all you can offer as a manager, do everything in your power to make those who work for you feel heard. Consider not only the content but the medium and tone through which you're communicating. It will make a world of difference.

You might want to see a previous post on politics for an example where UK parties blew a perfect opportunity to do just that and get ahead in the polls.

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