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The Whistler Report

I wish I knew...what key points people would latch onto about the change

I wish I knew with path and hills

You attend a meeting about a new project being launched. Lots of information is provided. What do you remember? What piece of information sticks with you? What story do you tell yourself about what you heard?

Or, you’re leading the meeting and explaining the change to senior leaders. You stick to your speaking points, then you answer questions. One of your responses is an unsubstantiated cost saving estimate that you know you’re going to review later – you don’t think much of it.

The next day you hear the same cost saving number from someone who wasn’t in the meeting. And you think, ‘that’s what’s traveling through the grapevine, none of my prepared talking points’.

Finding out what people have heard and what comments they have latched onto about the change is important. People gravitate to things they want to hear, things that fit within their frame of reference. To move people through change, you need to know what they are thinking, and help them see things in a new way. Here are some conversations from my book - Talking Change: Must-Have Conversations for Successful Leaders to help to find what people have heard.

The Debrief Conversation – to find out what people have heard and understood about an announced change.

  • What have you seen or heard about the changes happening in the organization?
  • What have you heard people say about the changes?
  • What one thing has stuck with you since hearing about the change?

The Impact Conversation – to identify the impact of changes on people and what they perceive they will lose and/or gain from the change.

  • What is ending with this change?
  • What is not changing for us?
  • What will you gain from this change?

What key information have you latched onto in the past? Was it correct? What have people remembered about something you've said - is it what you wanted them to remember?


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