4 Steps To Communicate A Change

Lluís Matamala Consultant of Gestión del Cambio Empresarial

You have been thinking for some time about how to structure a new way of doing things in your business unit, whether it is at a strategic, organizational or people management level. You are aware of the difficulty of managing change in organizations as it is one of the main challenges to adapt to new market needs.

Once you have the clear strategy to follow, the pros and cons, the costs analysed, and designed the path to follow, you see that everything fits, that it is very coherent, with which you must proceed to implement it and therefore communicate it to your team.

Communicating to change is not an option, it is a fundamental requirement for the new objective to be shared by the whole organization and for everyone to know what is expected of them so that change is possible.

From our own experience, both as a manager and as a Change Management consultant, in this first phase of communication we tend to make the following mistake:

“We only tend to explain the final decision”, what we want to achieve, without telling why, nor how we will reach the objective. However, we present the idea with flow charts, many figures and complex procedures.

There is a danger that neither the change of strategy nor the objective to be achieved is understood and that the perception is that we will complicate and increase the work of the team instead of making improvements visible!

Previously, and as a driver of change, you have done the exercise of awareness of the need for change and self-motivation and then proceed to structure it.

These same steps must make your team feel in the communication of the desired change.

We cannot forget that people, generally, we resist change, so it is very necessary to reach, in addition to the rational part, the emotional part of the person and making the person live the benefits that will be achieved.

As a help to prepare you to persuade when you present the communication of change you have designed, I propose the construction of your speech using the structure known as AIDA: Attention, Interest, Development and Action.

Going into detail:

How to capture ATTENTION:

You must capture the attention of your team immediately in the presentation, from the first minute so that they listen, understand, and accept what you want to share. They should notice that you are conveying something different. You are playing a game to make them buy the path you have designed to meet the new needs.

It may be useful in some cases to use in your introduction some famous phrase from some thinkers, scientists or relevant person related to the topic in question.

For example:

“If you’re looking for different results, don’t always do the same thing”, Albert Einstein or…

 “Everyone thinks about changing the world but no one thinks about changing oneself” Alexei Tolstoy, related for example to change management.

Awake the INTEREST:

“To make what we say heard, we must put ourselves in the place of those we are addressing to”, J.J. Rousseau.

 It is key to think about:

What do you like about the new idea? What personal/professional benefits will they have, and at a departmental level? And at the company level?

You must be able to tell, to “paint a picture” that will seduce. Present a situation in which they are immersed in it, enjoying the advantages of your proposal.

Explain the DEVELOPMENT:

In the first two phases we are inviting and making the team aware to change, from this moment on you can proceed to explain the details of what we will do, how we will do it, and who will do it, always arguing and reinforcing why.

Invite to ACTION.

Do not forget that the objective of communicating the change in the organization is to invite the team members to action and for that you must end up asking for their commitment while you reaffirm the benefits.

Remember: Your team will not buy the idea of change just because of its coherence, you must satisfy their interests and reach their emotions.

It is also essential to transmit with the heart and therefore with enthusiasm and passion!

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