Rumours that come with change…

I’m taking a quick break from the leadership posts because I have learnt something very important. Change brings speculation. When people know that changes will happen, but they don’t yet know what the changes will be, they begin to assume things. Assumptions are quickly made without even knowing the full story and this is how rumours begin.

The problem, not just in schools, is that very often decisions have to be made that people have to wait to find out about. Therefore, there are decisions that are made without everyone involved, decisions that are ‘done’ to people. The way that is written makes it seem as this is always a negative thing. It isn’t. But change isn’t always ‘perceived’ as a good thing, in fact many are scared of change and what it brings with it.

However, the more people speculate and think about the ‘what-could-be’, the more people begin to believe the rumours and whisperings. I have now learnt that this is where the trouble starts. Questions arise about things that weren’t ever in question and decisions become made when no one actually made them. All sorts of situations arise simply by assumption.

But how do you avoid this? You try to assure people and provide them with as much insight into the ‘change’ as possible, but still there will always be times where people just have to be patient while decisions are being made by management and governors.

How do you communicate change in a way that you minimise assumptions and speculation?

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One Response to Rumours that come with change…

  1. John says:

    As soon as you know change is coming, try to get ahead of it and set the table for it. This might include disclosing a timetable for communication. For example, if you know that there will be some staffing changes, you might say “We are still evaluating enrollment numbers and the resulting staffing assignments. When those numbers are finalized, we will communicate our staffing assignments at that time.” At least you’re out in front as much as you can be.

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