Daily Buzz: Empathy is Key to Organizational Change
Research shows successful transformations require empathetic leadership
If your association is rethinking its business strategy, the end result might require large organizational changes. And if that isn’t challenging enough, you’ll need to get your whole team supporting those new measures—and they might do so reluctantly.
Research on organizational change shows that in order to lead a successful transformation, leaders need to communicate empathetically. But many leaders don’t do this. In fact, 50 percent of executives leading change said they hadn’t considered their teams’ sentiments, according to another study from Duarte, a communication consultancy firm.
“I’ve observed the same thing time and time again: How information is communicated to employees during a change matters more than what information is communicated,” says Patti Sanchez, chief strategy officer at Duarte, in a post for Harvard Business Review. “A lack of audience empathy when conveying news about an organizational transformation can cause it to fail.”
To better promote empathy in leader-to-team communications, Sanchez suggests profiling employees at every stage of the transformation. “Change consultants typically advise leaders to create personas of various audiences when they kick-off a change initiative,” she says. “But, considering that people’s wants and needs will evolve throughout the process, you should reevaluate these personas during every phase of the journey.”
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