It’s been a while since my last post (largely due to a hectic travel schedule) but time in the air usually provides opportunities to read ‘stuff’ that would ordinarily remain largely ignored. For example, I read this post by Jeffrey Gitomer while sitting in the airport in Melbourne last week and it reinforced an oft-overlooked aspect relating to communications during a change management project; namely that of the semantics of language.
As you’ll see from Jeffrey’s post, the words we use to communicate and ‘effect’ change (or should that be ‘encourage’?) can have a significant impact on how end users interpret the communication. In Jeffrey’s sales example, the desired outcomes are clear – greater sales performance and insight – and yet the words and methods used to communicate and influence those outcomes are exceptionally different and can yield very different results.
As we’ve engaged with clients around the world, the most successful projects in securing end user buy-in and adoption have taken one simple step when crafting their change communications: Put yourself in the position of each end user type and communicate in a manner that ‘promotes’ (literally) rather than simply ‘mandates’ the desired behavior. By gaining buy-in early through the right change communications, end users will be more willing to embrace end user training when the time is right.