Online Newsletter for Call
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume IV, Issue 4
Date: Apri1, 2003 - Times They Are A-Changing
Change is rampant in our industry. That's count-on-able. Handling it appropriately, or I should say inappropriately, is also rampant.
According to Jamie Walters,* 75% of all change efforts fail. One of the reasons cited is the language used by managers in describing that change. "Language is and has always been important in communicating change, because it's how we connect with people. It's how we share information in a way that someone either accepts or rejects."
The uncertainty associated with change is one of the biggest reasons change is rejected, because people don't know what it means to them personally. They need basic reassurance that they're safe, that they're not going to lose their job, or be demoted.
In the fast pace of life, I believe we are pushed to go from A to C without going through B. Simply, A is the presenting change, and C, of course, is the (positive) result of whatever this change is. However, you cannot skip B. B is where uncertainty lives.
Acknowledgment of whatever feelings are present-fear, frustration, maybe even anger-and empathy for what you are hearing is required here. Putting yourself in the other person's shoes, seeing it from their point of view, is oftentimes all it takes for a smooth transition.
For those of you who remember the typewriter, I was very attached to mine. I was good at it, knew it well, was fast, and then came the computer. I went to it kicking and screaming. Most days it got the better of me. I didn't think it was easier. It was formidable. There wasn't much room for me to learn the computer because I was loyal to my typewriter. That is until I was able to speak about it, have someone really listen, and hear how frustrated I was by this new contraption. I can laugh about it today (war stories) but it was very serious then. Having a committed listener made the difference.
I also found I wasn't alone; other people also had fears. My fear was very basic. What if I couldn't learn it; what if I couldn't learn it in the timeframe allotted, what if I made too many mistakes? It's an old game playing the 'what if's' and when we make it up, we don't usually make it up positive.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: QUOTE OF THE MONTH: Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing, that we see too late the one that is open. Alexander Graham Bell
© 2003 Human Technologies Global, Inc. All rights reserved
Click here to go back to archive of newsletters.
*Warren, C. 2003. Change Your Language. American Way, Business Management (March 1), p. 62.