Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

A matter of trust

Change is inevitable. And so is some level of discomfort while we’re moving through it. I find that one of the most unsettling discomforts for individuals anticipating a change at work is a lack of expectations or clarity around their roles during the transition, and, of course, after it. Understandably. So as leaders, anything we can do to clarify expectations or roles, as promptly as possible, will help us lead others through a change.

There are times, however, when we may not have the luxury of providing a crystal-clear picture. Perhaps your organization is not ready to announce the details of a change. Or, maybe the change is inevitable, but the details are not yet ironed out. If we aren’t in a position to offer clarity to an employee or team in the short term, then acknowledging the uncertainty and offering our empathy, may at the very least validate their reactions.

I’ve had leaders tell me that they avoided communicating with employees who were anxiously anticipating a change, because they didn’t yet have anything definitive to tell them. If you find yourself in a situation like this, here’s a recommendation that may help morale and build trust—share with your employees that you don’t have anything definitive to offer, and then, if possible, tell them specifically when you will. It just may help to offer some small thing that can be counted on, and to provide one more opportunity for you to keep your word.


1 Comment»

  donnarawadyblog wrote @

Reblogged this on GET REAL and commented:

This is an entry I posted in 2007 that may add even more value today as so many leaders are leading and managing change among their teams. Feel free to add your comments about your personal experience to the mix. Thanks. Donna

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