Most people see change models as circular. Since change is a constant element in a successful organization, its repeated forces are always in action. Three keys are essential to successfully manage change: empathy, communication, and participation.
Empathy, the first key to successfully managing change, is crucial in obtaining information about who will be affected by a change and how they will react to it. Knowing how people will react is an important factor in the decision to make a change as well as the speed with which the change should be implemented.
Communication, which is the second key to successfully managing change, is also vital. Both oral and written communication must be done well for people to understand an impending change and the reasons for it.
Participation (also known as feedback), which is the third key, is critical in order for people to feel involved in the change. Involving people in planning of change usually results in acceptance more readily and a smoother path from resistance to commitment throughout the organization.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development