Change Management: strengthen your Em-tel and over-communicate

It’s baby-vacaton week, so bear with me. If you haven’t already heard my second daughter was born this past weekend. I promise I’m only fiddling with “work” stuff early in the morning when everyone’s asleep.

Onward with this post then. My first daughter will be two years old next month. In the months prior to the birth of our second, we’ve been introducing our first to the concepts of “new baby” and “your baby sister” and “sharing our time”.

You know, change management. Going from point A to a hopefully better but different point B, which can be a painful process for many people.

Although my first daughter is communicating more and more, she’s still a big mix of signs, words and babble.

You know, the unfortunate way many of us communicate everyday at home and at work.

That makes for day-to-day communication and any change management initiatives tough to roll out.

I remember in my very recent past at rolling out a new project management software service to our marketing services team with no introductory training or warnings of any kind.

Here — start using it. Blank faces of resistance followed. I had to start over and reintroduce the right way.

When you initiate change in your organization, I recommend first and foremost strengthening your Em-tel™.

Wait, what?

Your emotional intelligence. Em-tel™ is just my play on the term “intel” (intelligence = vital information) as it relates to your ability to:

  • Perceive, understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of your employees.
  • Listen to your employees and empathize with where they stand (not to be confused with sympathize — empathize means the ability to engage and relate, while sympathize means to “feel sorry for”).
  • Communicate clearly and effectively while exhibiting grace under pressure.
  • Inspire excellence and productivity via your leadership style of “do to get it done” with integrity, authenticity and transparency, even in the most difficult of situations.
  • Positively influence your employees across teams and departments to create collaborative and competitive advantage.

And here are some more keys for communicating during change:

  • You cannot over-communicate during change. Develop a written communication plan about the change or changes to ensure that all of the following occur.
  • Communicate consistently, frequently, and through multiple channels, including speaking, writing, video, training, focus groups, bulletin boards, Intranets, and more.
  • Communicate all that is known about the changes, as quickly as the information is available. (Make clear that your bias is toward instant communication so some of the details may change at a later date. Tell people that your other choice is to hold all communication until you are positive about the decisions. This is usually disastrous to well-managed change.)
  • Provide significant amounts of time for people to ask questions, request clarification, and provide input.

Gotta go. The family awakens!


3 thoughts on “Change Management: strengthen your Em-tel and over-communicate

  1. Kevin, bulls-eye! Made me think of one of John Kotter’s 8-steps in “Leading Change” and his advice to over-communicate by a factor of 10. Adding the layer of Em-tel™ and a sensitivity to what employees must be feeling, can make it all the more effective. Keep the good reminders coming… Mike


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