Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me
Leading Evolution through Effective
Laura Mosby, LCSW
Setting Our Intention
To proactively and successfully lead
the organization through dynamic
times using effective
Change and Evolution
• If we do not grow, adapt, and evolve in
response to our environment….we die, we
• Change is many things to many people:
Leadership has as its corner
stone, the ability to communicate.
Outcome of Effective Communication
Employees feel respected and engaged
Information is accurate and complete
Increased understanding of the Why
Instills a sense of shared ownership
Decreased resistance to change
Minimal to no negative impact to moral.
What is Your Style ?
Hands On: Loves Doing
Concrete and Task Oriented
Discuss and show practical applications
Use concrete terms and explanations (not abstract)
Remain organized and structured
Pay very close attention to deadlines
Do things in sequential and orderly steps
Demonstrate to illustrate an idea or point
Try to do things in an exact and precise way
Use brief and "to-the-point" comments (don't ramble)
Great at "hands-on" project-type tasks.
Thinker: Loves Ideas
Focus on main ideas and logical conclusions.
Pay very close attention to deadlines
Do not procrastinate or make excuses
Use outlines, charts, graphs, and spatial mapping
Open to the use of abstract explanations
Support information with facts (proof)
Support views and opinions with logic and evidence
Open to topics that allow for debate
Allow for research-type tasks.
Explorer: Loves Innovation
Open to new ideas
Open to change
Allow room for creative innovation
Open-minded to opinions and views
Relate ideas to the real world (use real world examples)
Focus on processes and applications rather than facts
Willing to take a risk or investigate
Patient with disorganization
Jumps from one idea to another
Allow for innovative and creative tasks
Free Thinker: Loves to Dream
Share personal experiences
Apply personal meaning to ideas
Participate in discussions and activities
Use gestures and positive body language
Be sincere and show interest and concern
Use images, pictures, and color
Show how ideas and details apply to life
Open to use of metaphoric language and expression
Don't force structure - allow room for flexibility
What is Communication?
This constitutes precisely one-half of the
The Other Half: Message Received
Verifying that the message you intended to send
was actually received and interpreted the way
The only way that you can be sure you
have created understanding is to listen to the
people with whom you are communicating.
. Receivers Listen Selectively
They hear, filter and process some things
and not other things.
That means that while you may have
explained the "whole picture", is it likely
that the whole thing wasn't received.
Studies indicate we remember only 25 – 50% of
what we hear.
So for a 10 minute conversation you are only really
hearing 2.5 – 5 minutes.
What does that mean for the speaker/listener?
How can we impact that percentage?
Messages about Evolution
What kind of messages you wish to send:
the facts and your attitude
What you want people to take away from
A sense of purpose and commitment
You have confidence in your "team”
That you want and need input
That you recognize any negative impact
That you are open to discussion
Your expectations regarding behaviors
But what about you?
Sometimes you won't be committed to the
change, or you won't be very
confident that you and your staff can pull
it off, particularly when the change is
What do you do?
What do we need to do as an organization?
Who, What, When, How ?
As a Leader you need to make decisions about:
With whom you must communicate
What needs to be communicated
When you will communicate and
How you will do it.
As much factual information as is available to you.
Information that will reduce uncertainty and ambiguity
Pre-empt the grapevine.
Provide forums for employees to communicate their
reactions and concerns to you.
A small amount of information about a
negative change may increase anxiety.
If you have preliminary information about a
change, that others do also, and that it is likely
that your employees will hear rumors.
You are communicating the facts of
the change, and also your own reactions to it.
As a leader, your staff will watch you carefully.
When it is Bad News
Describe the news in clear and straight forward manner
Explain how the decision is fair
Involve a high-status messenger
Deliver in a timely manner
Identify who made the decision and the process they used
Outline what alternatives were considered
Show that the organization cares and how is it helping
Describe how the problem will be avoided in the future
Tips from the Gale Group/ International Association of Business Communicators
As soon as possible about change.
In anticipation of change, during the
implementation, and after the change.
The longer you wait to communicate details of change, the
more likely you are to extend the period of adjustment.
The sooner you communicate the less information will come
through the grapevine.
Grapevine information tends to create a high degree of
anxiety, and also a high degree of mistrust of management.
Communicating on a
“need to know basis”
What are the Pitfalls?
Group or Individual Meetings
Ensures that each person present is hearing the
same information at the same time.
Group communication allows interaction about the
changes and can help develop a sense of team.
Disadvantages to Group
There will be some people who will not feel comfortable
talking in a group context.
The more "personal" the effects of the change, the more
likely people will withdraw from the group process.
One or two particularly vocal and negative people can set
the tone for the group.
There are some issues that cannot be discussed within a
Advantage of privacy.
Allows more in-depth exploration of feelings, ideas
and reactions to the change.
A disadvantage is that it may fragment your team.
There is a possibility of inconsistent messages
Group or Individual ?
Use group communications if:
You need to ensure everybody hears the news
at the same time.
You want to encourage group discussion to
generate ideas for problem solving.
You want to increase the sense of team.
You wish to set the stage for individual
Use individual meetings if:
The changes are likely to cause a high degree of
emotionalism that is better dealt with in private.
You want to ensure that shyer people have a chance to
The changes involve elements that should remain
You need to have detailed discussion with specific
HOW: Oral or Written
Oral communication is better when:
Receiver is not very interested in getting the message.
Emotions are high.
You need feedback.
You need to convince or persuade.
The details and issues are complicated.
Written communication is better:
You require a record of the communication for
Your staff will be referring to details of the change
Generally, it is wise to use both written and oral
The more emotional the issues, the more important
it is to stress oral communication first. Written
communication can be used as backup
For those sharing the messages
What do managers need?
How do we provide it?
For those handling the responses
Could be different then the messenger
How do we support?
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
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