Choose to Communicate Clearly
by Barbara Rocha
"WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE."
Downsizing, rightsizing, reorganizing, restructuring, or reengineering. Call it what you want, almost everyone's affected (or is it infected?).
A "failure to communicate" may not be the reason changes are needed, but failing to communicate can make sure any changes fail.
Try using the Golden Rule. We want to know what's happening; so do they.
We're dealing with trust here. And the KISS principle. And openness. And a lot less CYA than usual. Trust me. Tell me what's happening. Let me participate (this is no place for control freaks.)
The control-the power-you get to have is choosing to communicate clearly with everyone involved. It's tough, but surviving means adapting.
Consider the similarities between communicating within the company during restructuring and communicating with the public during a major product failure: Be open. Be honest. Respect the intelligence of your audience. Think of the situation from their point of view. Communicate early and often. Don't wait until the damage is so great that it's too late to fix it.
No one wants to lose control; everyone's uncertain about what's coming.
Anyone who stops thinking about self and focuses on the issue and what's best for everyone, communicates honestly and sincerely. And the people who hear that kind of communication will probably believe what they hear-at least once they get used to being told the truth.
Yes, it's scary. And the stakes are high. It's the perfect moment to conquer ego-based decisions and really communicate.