- When significant changes are accompanied with incomplete information, we have a tendency to fill the gap with something. Anything. In all likelihood, what’s used to fill the void won’t be accurate, but it sure can be vivid in our imagination! More often than not, what is imagined won’t be good. Those visions will distract us from the mission at hand; the seeds of mistrust, and even fear, are sown. Perception becomes reality.
- When meaningful changes, even difficult ones, are explained with complete and honest information, we don’t have to waste time filling the gap with imaginary monsters. The real truth is liberating and empowering. We can focus instead on adapting to the change in a productive way, when fear and vagaries are absent.
Those two very different scenarios sound quite logical, don’t they? Knowing this, why would any caring organization not share important information with those who need it to focus and to function?
I believe that the lack of sharing often stems from a lack of awareness, rather than malicious intent, but the damaging effects are essentially the same. Sometimes it’s assumed that, because you know, others must also know; the further away from the source, however, the less likely that will be the case. Sometimes it’s assumed that there is simply no need to inform those who can’t influence the change, so that they’ll instead stay focused on their work. Both are very dangerous assumptions. As a result, what appears real may be imagined.
Leaders must share the “why”, the “how” and finally the “what”. Team members should actively seek this informational if it’s not offered. Business is “busy”; being busy implies movement and change. Pause just long enough to assure that everyone who’s with you on the journey knows why they are there and where you are headed together.