Change Management: Building The Communication Plan (E)
What is necesary for appropriate communication plan. What type of questions you use during the communication?
Posted: Apr 2010
The change initiative needs to be communicated in a appropriate way. The communication needs to be done internally and externally. Proper communication of change process requires detailed plan. But, before we build the plan, we must make sure that we have sufficient technical competencies for communicating the plan.
As leaders we should make the most of our opportunities to engage with others. Critical skills for making that engagement to be the most effective are: active listening and asking open questions.
In order to listen actively, you need to attend to the others and their agenda. Try to hear the other's concerns, goals, and beliefs about what is and what isn't possible. Distinguish between the words, the tone of voice and the body language. Summarize what others have said in order to ensure understanding. Encourage the other's expression of feelings and suggestions.
The factors that may hinder your active listening are mental disagreement and assumptions of what you hear. Prejudice about speaker and his statement, lack of interest for the speaker or subject, allowing outside distractions to get in, overload of information, getting emotional and listening only what you want are blocking you from active listening.
In order to enhance your listening skills you need to concentrate, avoid pre-judgments, mentally summarize, verbally summarize, check understanding by asking the questions, be attentive and listen the feelings as well as the words.
In order to understand better you can ask four types of questions:
Closed questions. They do not provide much information. Mostly the answer is yes or no.
Open questions. They give variety of answers. Open questions start with What, Who, When, How and Why.
Probing questions. They are used for further explanation of previous answers. Probing questions usually start with „Tell me more about...“, “What do you think about...“.
Hypothetical questions. They serve to overcome stuck thinking. They start with „What if...“.
Once you are sure that your communication skills are at the appropriate level, you can start developing your communication plan to the stakeholders. Make sure that you have well developed plan.
If it is necessary you can develop different communication plans for internal and external stakeholders. For detailed communication planning use the following form:
Change Management - Introduction
Step 1: Engaging & Creating the Change Environment
Step 2: Building the Change Team
Step 3: Defining the Vision
Step 4: Building the Communication Plan
Step 5: Motivating, Empowering and Inspiring for Action
Step 6: Supporting the Change process