Change communication has always been an important part of a strong organization, but the speed and type of change that we are experiencing lately may require a different skill set than it had in the past.
Fortunately, the Professional Development Institute (PDI) at the University of Ottawa offers a specialized program to help leaders to improve their communication skills so they can effectively address the ever-changing workplace environment.
The Challenges of Change Communication
As workplaces across the country continue to experience many different types of changes, effectively communicating those changes can be challenging. It is especially difficult because leaders are often tasked with communicating change while they are in the midst of uncertainty.
Individuals have experienced massive changes to their work lives, including multiple moves between working from home, returning to the office, and a hybrid work environment. If these types of changes are not communicated effectively, they can cause anxiety and uncertainty. Poorly communicated change can also lead to employee disengagement and even increased resignations.
In order for leaders to support their teams fully, it is important that change communication is motivated by a strong sense of respect for everyone who may be impacted, it should make space for both accountability and empathy, and it should also balance both intellectual and emotional content.
Fulfilling these challenging communication needs requires leaders to be even more prepared than ever before. Balancing the need for informational change communication with the equally important emotional aspect of change is a skill that leaders can develop.
The Strategic Communications and Change Program
The Strategic Communications and Change Program through PDI is designed to help leaders to hone their skills in communication and change leadership.
This specialized program brings together the Results Map® System, which is a comprehensive methodology for strategic communications, with active learning opportunities and industry guest speakers. Students can expect to learn a number of useful skills, including:
- Strategic planning in an ever-changing environment
- Best practices in change communications
- Change narratives and storytelling
- Change management planning
- How to address resistance
- Risk management in change
The program is taught by Caroline Kealey, who is an internationally recognized strategic communications and change expert.
According to Caroline Kealey, the Strategic Communications and Change Program will benefit a number of people. “This program is beneficial to communications directors, managers and officers with a mandate to support change, and change management professionals,” she explains.
The application deadline for the Fall 2022 Cohort for the Strategic Communications and Change Program is October 24. The course starts on November 7 and runs through December 6.