If you are a leader, you have sat in one of these meetings. How do we explain this to them... in a way they can hear, understand, and feel good about?
How you position a change matters. A lot.
If you find yourself in meeting after meeting, working to wordsmith the change to better “position” what is happening, I encourage you to ask one question.
“What if we told them the truth?”
- … overtime is too high, we must increase productivity
- … the stock price is stagnant, we will all benefit from better financials
- …we need to ensure everyone is contributing
- … this new automation will be more efficient
Grown-ups want the truth. Not spin. The truth is most people will respect you far more for telling them the truth than any elegant positioning you can concoct.
When people feel respected, they will respond.
When people feel respected they will join.
When people feel respected they will try.
On the other hand.
Unfiltered truth shared in an uncaring way creates unproductive havoc.
What If You Start With the Truth?
And then consider…
- What are the best and worst parts of this change?
- Who will this impact in what ways?
- What questions will be most relevant to whom?
- What additional information should I have available?
- What other questions will they ask?
I have never regretted erring on the side of the truth even when it was scary. Even if the awkward truth creates short-term anxiety, communicated well, the credibility you establish is worth the risk.