How To Make People Feel More Positive During Change


This guide explodes the most common mistakes around communication in uncertain times and takes you through the 5  steps of how to be that calm constructive manager that your employees need you to be.


  1. The common mistakes that managers make
  2. The  5 steps “How To” checklist
  3. Other useful resources

The common mistakes that managers make

Avoiding the subject.

Burying our heads in the sand does not make people’s fears and concerns go away. If anything they just fester and then come out in a loud explosion at some stage, usually when we are under pressure and don’t have the mental capacity to cope with explosions.

Making promises not in our gift to give.

Promising security, promotion or pay when we actually don’t have the final decision is very dangerous. It’s bad for other people and reflects very badly on us.

Giving personal advice.

Advice given from someone in authority on how to handle personal affairs is a no no. People have to make their own decisions.

Being defensive.

We are not at our best defending our own or the “management’s” position.  We can be constructive without having to be defensive.

Discussing issues when we don’t have all the facts.

It’s tempting to speculate or second guess; we might even be right, but it’s dangerous.


  1. Do listen to fears and concerns

Have a balanced and considered conversation around their personal options. For example: So if you do this now what are the pros and cons? If you make that step now what might happen in the future?

  1. Do promise to keep people informed

…at the right time, when you have all the facts and information.

  1. Do give wise advice

….about how to approach work, how to consider future options, how to act at work.

  1. Do keep calm

They may only need you to be the voice of calm and reason. They may only need reassurance that you will be there for them when decisions have to be made.

But if you never talked with them calmly when everything was up in the air they will not have the confidence in you when they really need it.

  1. Do clarify the facts

There is very little that you can do to make the future certain so concentrate on what you can do for now to help them feel in control and keep up a reasonable level of motivation. It would be natural to lose motivation and perhaps even become quite negative but that won’t help people be in the right place, mentally and work wise,  when the future becomes certain.

Useful Resources

try our video on this topic

In our video How (NOT) To Communicate During Change, you can see a manager making all the common mistakes, and the consequences of that approach. It should make you smile.

In our e-learning module Managing Change we combine two videos along with some interactive exercises to help you be an effective manager during change.

Download this ebook here . This article has covered the basics of communicating during change but it’s only the beginning.

We’ve been building our leadership and management development business, elconsulting, for over 20 years now. During that time, we’ve been fortunate to enjoy a lot of success but we’ve also made our share of mistakes.

What if you could benefit directly from our years of experience and avoid those mistakes?

We’ve got something to share with you. We call it eltalking, the people management toolbox, and it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done.

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