Change Ask Dr G
Written by Doctor G

so, how does this little change land with you?

Two weeks ago I prepped you for the change in my email template. It is, in the grand scheme of things, a tiny change and one that wouldn’t have a huge impact on anyone. Even so, I heard from twelve different readers about how email template changes and the like do really make an impression, usually a bad one. One reader told me that they have a work responsibility to read a particular email every week and report on it, but since that email changed format they’ve struggled to check that task off each week.

Please don’t imagine that I think my email template is a big deal. As a matter of fact, I used that small change really purposefully simply to demonstrate two things:

  1. Any change, no matter how small or inconsequential, causes a reaction in our brains. Our brains look skeptically at every single change, asking “What could I lose? Can I trust this? What’s uncomfortable here?” in an effort to protect us.
  2. Any change, no matter how small, is a chance to build our resilience and improve our change navigation muscles.

I used the three of the four strategies for helping others navigate change:

  • Empathy. I mentioned, right up front, that this might cause some feelings. That those feelings are valid. That I care about those feelings because I value you.
  • Transparent information. I explained why I was making this change, and what I thought it might accomplish. I even tied it to my purpose in writing these emails every week.
  • Processing time. I gave you a bit of warning, and showed you how it would look before I made the change into how it now looks over here in our weekly conversation.

It feels like a bit of overkill, I know. But showing is often more helpful than just telling (and this way I got to show you and then tell you!).

You can use these same strategies in helping your people navigate an upcoming change. So over to you – what do you know is about to change for your people, no matter how big or small? About to spend the holidays differently? Going to use a new tech system at work? Hiring someone new or selling something different? Comment and let me know!

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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