Perfect Phrases for Communicating Change

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February 19, 2010


Electronic book text, 176 pages

Other Formats


0071738304 / 9780071738309

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Main description


Employees respond to organizational change with worry, fear, and sometimes even panic. Your job is to keep them motivated and focused—so you must choose your words carefully during times of upheaval.

Perfect Phrases for Communicating Change has hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for ensuring your employees make the transition with clarity, commitment, and skill. Learn the most effective language for:

  • Articulating new company initiatives
  • Responding to questions with confidence
  • Easing employees' fears
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • Addressing resistance and performance problems

Praise for Perfect Phrases for Communicating Change

"Perfect Phrases for Communicating Change is a wonderful book, filled with practical, solid advice, suggestions, and examples for how to communicate effectively in a time of change.”
John Krajicek, Executive Professor and Assistant Director of Business Communication Studies, Texas A&M University

"Communication during organizational change is everything. The right words at the right time can make all the difference between a successful and unsuccessful change initiative. This is a wonderful resource for finding the right words and sentiments to convey any type of change."
Robert J. Marshak, Ph.D., author of Covert Processes at Work: Managing the Five Hidden Dimensions of Organizational Change

“Finding the right words to communicate change is challenging, even for the best of managers. In this user-friendly text, Lawrence and Antoine provide hundreds of practical phrases to better prepare managers for the task. The book is rich with insightful suggestions on change messaging considerations and construction.”
Edward Ferris, Assistant Professor, The New School for Management and Urban Policy

"In my over 20 years of running companies and corporate divisions I have seen a direct correlation between the quality of communication of my managers and their success in the business world. If you aspire to be an effective, efficient, and productive leader then I highly recommend this book. It is an outstanding reference guide and road map for pragmatic yet inspirational communication techniques."
Mitch Pisik, President and CEO, Breckwell Products

Table of contents

Part One: Foundations of Communicating Change

  • The critical communication challenges in each phase of change: Launch, Execution, Sustain
  • Balancing the 3 elements of change communication: Information, Emotion & Action
  • 5 most common mistakes leaders make when communicating change
  • An easy to use checklist to review any message before sending (written or verbal)
Part Two: Perfect Phrases for Leading Change

A. Best Practices for Communicating During Change

In this section we would outline Best Practices from research and experience for communicating change such as:

  • Make it Simple
  • Empathize
  • Personalize Messages
  • Tell the truth
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  • Link to Business
  • Avoid Wishful Thinking
  • Create 2 way communication
B. We will include the following Perfect Phrases sections and appropriate phrases lists to support each of the following areas:
  • Announcing Change
  • Responding to Questions
  • Overcoming Fear
  • Creating Urgency
  • Addressing Loss of Power / Status
  • Career Discussions
  • Clarifying Roles & Responsibilities
  • Handling Resistance
  • Communicating Change Goals
  • Coaching around Emotions
  • Coaching around Skill
  • Empowering Employees
  • Keeping People Motivated
  • Recognizing Success
  • Addressing Performance Problems
  • Rallying Teams
As change communication is always within the context of a specific business change, we could include subsections to provide specific phrases for typical types of change, including:
  • New Structure (i.e. Reorganizations, Layoffs, Outsourcing, Merger, New Teams)
  • New Project (i.e. ERP and other Software Rollouts, Process Improvement, Innovation)
  • New Leader (i.e. Succession, Merger/Acquisition, New Team Members)
  • New Strategy (i.e. New Markets, New Corporate Positioning, New Products/Services)
Part Three: Communicating Change Virtually

We are currently conducting research on what works when communicating change virtually. This section will include do’s and don’ts for communicating in a virtual environment and appropriate use of communication technology in the context of change (face to face, phone, email, web casts, video conferencing, and state of the art social networking tools).

Author comments

Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel are managing partners at PeopleNRG, a change-management consultancy firm in Princeton, NJ.

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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