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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sep 2011
40 Project Manager Now you’re talking Three tips to effectively communicate change in the dynamic project environment. COMMUNICATE EARLY, POSITIVELY AND FREQUENTLY Dominic Siow is a trainer and consultant who has worked with hundreds of blueVisions clients to improve project management performance. For further information on blueVisions Project Capability Improvement and Training Services call (02)8908 9888 or visit www.bluevisions.com.au 123 • CAREER CENTRE ADVERTORIAL STRENGTHEN COMMITMENT THROUGH INVOLVEMENT CAPTURE HEARTS, THEN MINDS It is important to communicate face-to-face with your team before the rumour mill starts. People with a pessimistic tendency will tend to exaggerate negatives in the absence of fact. Step into your team’s shoes and imagine what their concerns might be about the change. Your objective is to leave staff with a sense of confidence and optimism about the change and a clear idea of WIFM (what’s in it for me). When communicating change, face-to-face works best. Be open and honest. If you don’t have all the facts, let them know. Reinforce your commitment to keep them informed and follow up on that commitment. When communicating change, a good principle to keep in mind is highlighted in this quote by Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Wherever possible ask rather than tell. Use leading questions that will help staff draw the same conclusions as management about decisions relating to change. For instance, instead of saying “This is what we’re doing,” say “This is the situation/trend. What would you do?” The more your team feels involved in the change, the greater the level of commitment there will be to the implementation plan. Bear in mind that people make changes for emotional, not logical reasons. Use stories, videos and emotive language to engage both the hearts and minds of your teams. People generally aren’t moved by the need to improve revenue or arrest declining market share. Instead, they are motivated to improve job security, advance their career, experience greater work satisfaction and make a difference to the lives of their clients, peers and family. The charts, statistics and facts are still important though; provide them because, while people make decisions based on emotions, they rationalise their decisions on logic. ••• BY DOMINIC SIOW, CONSULTANT BLUEVISIONS THINKSTOCK
June July 2011
Project Manager Oct Nov 2011