When change is poorly communicated it can often create discomfort, and people react to that discomfort in different ways. In that state important strategic messages are unlikely to land because people’s minds are focused on their own fears and concerns.
Panic, denial and avoidance are common reactions which are often interpreted as resistance to change. It’s easy to judge these reactions as resistance, though they are natural, largely unconscious responses to what can feel threatening, overwhelming or scary. I know that when I’ve been worried or concerned about my future, I’m not usually in the best state of mind to listen to other people’s helpful advice. Emotional responses to change often go unvoiced if there’s not enough safety or trust to share them with someone.
In this situation it’s really important to find an opportunity for catharsis - which is the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
We believe that by acknowledging the emotional impact of change and allowing space for it’s expression, conversations can become more productive. Then there is more chance of creating a shared story that everyone cares about and feels part of - because they feel cared about too.