5 practical tips to communicate your change effectively

5 practical tips to communicate your change effectively

When the broad outlines of your change are clear, it is time to share them with others. But how do you do that, communicating your plans effectively?

In this article you will find a number of tips on how you can ensure that your communication contributes to optimizing the engagement of your colleagues and employees from the start and thus to the realization of your change goals.

WHO WANTS CHANGE

People react differently when they hear a message stating that things are going to change. Depending on the (feared) impact, a mix of emotions comes into play. These emotions can cause people to either stop listening or to listen with a colored gaze. Factual information may be lost as a result. So how do you ensure that your message is heard and the resistance to your plans is as small as possible?

With the following five tips, you can already lay a solid foundation to ensure that your audience keeps their ears and eyes open.

WHY NOW?

Employees often detected the need for change (action) before that change is coming. They realize that something needs to be done, that the organization ‘needs to take action’. But because there are no concrete plans on the table yet, it seems as if the need for change has not yet reached the (top) management layer of the organization.

Be sure to address the context of the change in your communication and clarify why it is needed NOW. That way, you avoid the possible reaction from your audience that the change actually comes too late.

A CLEAR FUTURE

The more concrete the vision of the future you sketch, the less room there is to make up missing information. After all, it is a characteristic of our brain to supplement unclear information with (self-) invented information.

CREATE A POINT OF STABILITY

Most people can only handle a certain level of change before they become insecure. Look for what doesn’t change and incorporate this into your message. Those points of stability can create a certain stability. They can make your audience listen to you with their eyes and ears open.

CHOOSE AN AGILE APPROACH

In a world that is changing faster and faster, it is crucial to be adaptive to changing contexts. Make sure include that philosophy of continuous improvement in your message and incorporate an iterative approach. Indicate that evaluation and adjustment are an essential part of the approach, since not all questions are knows now, let alone they can be answered.

BE SPECIFIC

Communicating change is also a search for the right words. Don’t let that search end in meaningless slogan language. If you want to engage people, you have to be clear about what you expect from them. Not being specific enough, is one of the most common reasons of perceived resistance.