How to talk about change as a leader?


Hi, I'm Claire, CEO of Know Your Team, software that gives you the training and tools for you to be the best leader possible. And I wanna talk today about change.

Yes, change is hard. And I think for us as leaders, we sort of get the short end of the stick in that it's pretty difficult to figure out how to communicate well. And so I think the, the big thing, when we, as leaders, are trying to communicate a change, whether it's a big reorg, whether it means certain budget cuts, right, some of these difficult topics of what this change is, we have to keep in mind that what makes change so hard? The reason that's biologically we as humans almost seem to resist it, a lot of times, and feel fearful of it, is because change feels unpredictable.

We as, humans, want a sense of stability. We want to be able to say that we can anticipate that something is going to be a certain way. And the minute something is going to change, that means that we have to be on high alert, we have to have constant vigilance. And that just raises our level of stress and anxiety. And so when we don't communicate change well, what we do is we amp up the level of unpredictability for our team. And inadvertently, we cause people to start looking over their shoulders going, is this the right place for me? Should I be going to work someplace else? Am am I really signed up for what I thought I was signing up for?

And so what we want to then do is remove as much of that unpredictability as possible when we are communicating change. We want to, in whatever context makes the most sense, is let folks know that there are things that of course will be different and feel uncertain, but here are things to help ease that. And so really think about how can I actually make something feel more predictable when I am communicating change? This could be as simple as giving people more of a heads up when discussing change. So instead of saying, today is the reorg, right? But giving people a heads up a few months in advance that this is something that you're starting to think about as a leadership team, or that you've had conversations with your manager about different things that might be changing in the organization, and here are a few scenarios.

That kind of preemptive discussion is actually what's going to help things feel less unpredictable, unruly, and unsettling for your team. It's gonna reduce the amount of stress because then they can start to predict what's actually gonna happen. And from there, their level of anxiety is actually going to go down, and their ability to actually focus, and not feel confused and burdened will also really start to sort of settle in the right way. And so do try to think about how can you give more of a heads up? How can you carve out more time to have these discussions in a deliberate way to remove that unpredictability? And when you do, I assure you, that you're gonna be able to communicate this change so much better.

Look forward to having you try it, and hope yeah, this is helpful. Thanks so much.

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