Whether you’re the one communicating the change or the one receiving the communication, there are three things you must do to communicate effectively.
The first is to repeat, repeat, repeat. You can’t communicate too much when introducing a change of any kind. When I was working in corporate America, I made it a habit to repeat back to my boss what I thought I heard when defining what I was asked to implement or change moving forward. You might have heard me say, “To make sure I’m on the same page, what you’re saying is… is that correct?”
Now, the “…” is where confirming and clarifying come into play.
When repeating back to my bosses what I interpreted them to be saying, I confirmed deadlines and clarified how I would notify my boss once my action was completed, for instance. By doing this, I was able to guarantee that I wasn’t misinterpreting any details or expectations.
A plan to repeat, confirm, clarify may sound simple, but it can be a challenge if you’re in a rush to get back to a project or move on to the next one. It also gets more complicated when you go from one-on-one communication of change to one that involves a team dynamic.