Is it possible to over communicate during change?
I believe it is almost impossible to over communicate during change.
It is almost impossible to communicate too much information during change, but it is possible to communicate too much information too soon. A few years ago during one of my workshop, we were discussing common communication mistakes when a participant shared her story.
In a previous change she had seen the consequences of giving too little information. Therefore when it came time for the next change she did not want to make the same mistake, so she communicated everything. However instead of making the change easier, it appeared to increase her employees’ anxiety, and her frustration. She concluded the problem was over communication.
Initially it did appear the problem was that too much information had been given to the employees. But as we talked, it became clear that the problem was not the amount of information. The problems were with the timing of the information, and the way the information had been delivered. There was simply too much information, communicated too soon, and in a way that was not helpful to the people experiencing the change.
Three things to remember when communicating during change
- Align your communication with the change continuum.
- Create structures and opportunities to facilitate, guide and support people to engage in the natural pattern of conversation they use to adopt change.
- Limit your use of passive communication mechanisms such as email, and increase your use of active mechanisms such as Guided Conversations or a World Cafe to communicate the change.
Helping you succeed through change.
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