The Dialogue of Change
No one can be compelled to change, so no change initiative can succeed without dialogue between the advocates and those impacted by the change. Beginning this discussion before the initiative is launched provides the opportunity for people to exchange conflicting opinions, explore possibilities and discuss obstacles as a precursor for committing to support the change. For the advocates, the launch dialogue is an exercise in persuasion, intended to start an open, productive conversation with those impacted, aimed at convincing them that the change is worthy of their support. Those affected by the change need an opportunity to express their concerns before they will allow themselves to consider proposed benefits. The most successful change dialogues begin in response to an empathetic message from the advocates that expresses a sincere interest to uncover the worries of the affected parties. Asking those impacted how they interpret the change initiative, and listening to their responses, provides clues that enable the two sides to find common ground. How do you encourage productive dialogue with those impacted by a planned change? What methods have been most effective in earning support for your change initiatives?
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