Having assisted countless organisations to navigate change processes, there is one key piece of advice that I always provide: “communicate with your staff what is happening”. This creates a sense of certainty in staff, even if outcomes/directions are uncertain.
However providing a sense of certainty is often the first thing missed by leaders. This can generate a threat response in their staff until a sense of certainty is restored, which can result in lower productivity, disengagement, avoidance and fear.
Effective leaders communicate expectations with staff clearly and set clear timeframes. This activity needs to be repeated to continue a sense of certainty. Providing a weekly update on a change process to your staff at a scheduled time reinforces the sense of certainty that there is a plan for where things are heading.
David Rock captures this brilliantly by highlighting “the old adage is ‘tell people what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them’, all of which increases certainty”.
If you would like to discuss how you can foster more certainty in your staff, please contact me.
This is part 2 of a 5 part leadership master class blog series, adapted from David Rock’s 2008 publication in the Neuroleadership Journal, SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others.