Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Every change initiative is met with resistance is met with resistance from critics, skeptics and hold outs.

And since change requires an investment of additional time and energy, above and beyond specific functional duties, people cannot be compelled to change; they must be inspired to accept the challenge of what must be done.

John Maxwell, in his book  “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect,” describes how this inspiration depends first on communicating a message that connects with those impacted by the change, creating a synergy that stimulates action. The message should align 3 factors in an Inspiration Equation to produce this synergy:

  1. What people need to know. Aside from the basic message of what will change, what will remain the same, and why a change is necessary, it’s the context of how this message is communicated that creates the connection. To persuade others, a leader must reassure, addressing aspirations and fears to earn trust. People need to know that their leader understands them, is focused on them and has high expectations of them.
  2. What people need to see. Employees quickly decide whether to listen to the message or turn off. They watch a leader’s expressions and body language. Is there enthusiasm? Is there eye contact? Is there smiling? Are there opportunities to question? They are assessing the leader’s conviction, credibility and character. These are key ingredients in the decision to trust.
  3. What people need to feel. Inspiration is most influenced by connecting with people’s
    feelings. They may not remember the details of the message, but they will always remember how their leader made them feel when delivering it. Their feelings are aroused by sensing the leader’s passion for the change and for them, confidence in herself or himself as well as them, and appreciation for them.

What people need to know + what they see + what they feel = inspiration.

How might this formula improve your launch of a change initiative?
How will you know that you have connected?