The change-resister’s guide to handling and communicating change
Being someone who likes consistency in the world of communications is a bit like being a lactose-intolerant dairy farmer*. In theory, yes, you can do it, but why would you surround yourself in a sea of something that makes you ill? Well, I am that anomaly and I am here to say it can be done, and with success.
To be clear, I work with change every day: changing client needs and expectations, changing project deadlines, changes in the media, changes in how people want their news and information delivered. Some days, it seems like the only constant in my job is change.
As someone who naturally gravitates toward consistency, I’ve found I bring unique perspective to any conversation about communicating change:
We understand others’ fear of change. Change resisters know firsthand how scary change can be, and we don’t take it lightly. We’re the ones who ask, “Is this change necessary?” We’re not against change, but we don’t like change just for the sake of change – we want to know it serves a purpose.
Once we know change is happening, we also ask, “How can we communicate this in a way that helps other understand and feel good about it?”
We’re able to see the potential consequences associated with change. There are those who love change and embrace it. When they see change coming, they scarf it up like it’s a delicious candy bar without a second thought. But someone who is more cautious is able to take a step back and say, “Whoa, this is going to impact a lot of other things.” Raising those issues is valuable to the change process.
We understand the importance of consistency. For those who feel a natural “scariness” around change, receiving consistent and accurate communications about the change can help alleviate that fear.
We might resist change, but we can still be optimistic. Our healthy skepticism enables us to look more closely at the negatives, but also the positives of a specific change. Then, we’re able to translate that change for others in a way that accentuates the positive.
So if you are someone who enjoys consistency (like me), don’t throw your hands up in the air in frustration when change comes up – throw yourself into the middle of it, because you have valuable opinions to share!
* I am certain there are many wonderful dairy farmers out there who have an intolerance to lactose, and I salute them.