Get your team energized about the future – without drama, stress or speculationAug 05, 2021
You’ve heard the saying “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. Well actually it’s what you say, how you say it, who says it and when you say it. A well thought out communication plan will ensure your organization is as invested as you are in your big idea!
You’re getting towards the end of your project. You had a team of rock stars working the plan. You’re closing in on launch. You’re ready to share the excitement with your broader organization. You need a well thought out approach to communication that ensures the right person is delivering the right message to the right audience via the right vehicle timed to ensure a successful launch.
What is the goal of your communication?
- Inspire trust between the organization, leadership, employees and customers
- Provide clarity about the future and reduce time-wasting speculation
- Improve relationships and teamwork
- Increase employee engagement and commitment
- Improve productivity and results
- Ultimately increasing revenue potential and decreasing costs of a bad launch
I’ve been impacted by change in my personal and professional life a time or two (or 3 or 4 or 5 or …). I’ve seen it handled in a cringe-worthy way, and I’ve had situations where I thanked the messenger for the care they took in delivering a tough message. While I can’t guarantee you’ll be thanked for delivering a tough message – the audience of your message will recognize when you’ve been planful in your approach.
While there are an endless number of tips for delivering change messaging, I have a couple of high-level recommendations for achieving your communication goals:
- The communication plan needs to start with an assessment of impacts. Based on how the change is impacting someone, the plan will vary – the message, who’s delivering it, how, when. Are they being organizationally impacted, getting a new leader, getting new direct reports? Is the work changing, new location, new systems, new procedures, new schedule? Are their benefits changing?
- One of the keys to a great communication plan is anticipating what will be asked and determining what needs to be shared proactively, and what needs to be included in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). In my experience, a solid set of FAQs is essential. The last thing you want is someone saying “how did they NOT think this question would come up!”.
- Be thoughtful about what is delivered in a 1:1 conversation vs a group setting. If someone is uniquely impacted by the change, be respectful and have a personal conversation with them. For that 1:1 conversation it’s ideal if the person delivering the message has a relationship with the person receiving the message.
- In broader communications, share as much as possible. And be honest about what you can’t share and when you think you may be able to share more.
- The messenger needs to be someone who is respected, is passionate about the message, and is capable of showing empathy. In some cases you are delivering an exciting message with positive impacts on the audience. In some cases, it’s a tough message. In either case, the messenger needs to understand the impact and be empathetic to the audience.
- Lastly – refer back to the 20 power questions. Your communication will come across more authentic if you consider how to reach people’s hearts and minds.
I heard these statements recently.
“The restructuring make sense. It’s HOW it was shared that really rubbed me the wrong way”.
“I get it, lay-offs are a fact of life in this economy, but I would have appreciated a little respect through the process”.
“I was told I was getting a new leader. But days later my new leader tells me I’m being trained on new work. I wasn’t told my job was changing”.
I bet you’ve heard similar statements from friends or co-workers. Or maybe you’ve said these things yourself! Do you think these folks trust their leadership? Do you think they have clarity around the future? Do you think they feel a commitment to deliver for their organization?
Imagine the difference if there had been a thoughtful, planful communication plan.
Don’t jeopardize the successful launch of your vision by letting this daunting task overwhelm you! Let me be part of your process – I’d love to be your partner to help inspire your team and bring your vision across the finish line!
When you’ve got the team onboard, the governance and project structure are in place, you’ve executed a plan with a purpose, and you’ve inspired commitment from your team through thoughtful, planful communication, then what’s next? Check my other blogs where we talk about steps you can take to sustain your results!
If you’re inspired and ready to get started – let’s jump on a call. Click here to schedule a free strategy session so that we can create a customized plan to move your idea to implemented reality.
Let’s do this!
About Me: I'm Heather Havey and my consulting business helps visionary leaders bring their big ideas to implemented reality. I’m passionate about efficiency and business transformation, and I will empower you to accelerate the achievement of your big goals. I offer customized, no-nonsense, real-world solutions designed to position you as the hero in the reinvention of your business.
Check out options for how we may be able to work together at https://www.heatherhaveyconsulting.com/services .
And if you think you could benefit from having an expert partner with real-world, action-oriented change solutions that will absolutely work, let’s chat. In your free strategy session we’ll get those ideas out of the clouds and on the road to results. Schedule a complimentary strategy session to talk about bringing your vision to life.