Tell Your People
When I first started in consulting, I was on a big project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was an extensive assessment of “organizational issues” broadly speaking. I did a LOT of interviews and focus groups. I remember meeting with one of the senior regional managers who made a point about internal communication that I have since quoted liberally. I thought it was time to put it in the blog. He said (a paraphrase):
“Tell your people. Tell them what’s going on. Tell them everything. Tell them multiple times. Because here’s the kicker: if you don’t tell them, they’ll make it up! And I can guarantee you whatever they make up is likely to be much worse than the truth.”
He’s not the only one to say something like this, of course, but it’s amazing to me how seemingly hard it is to follow this advice.
Let go of the fear. Tell your people.