In a time of turbulent political change, the adage, ‘treat others as we would wish to be treated’ comes to mind.
We probably all sometimes stare in disbelief at the TV or the radio when someone says something that in our opinion clearly isn’t true. What else do we do? We turn to the person next to us or later tell the tale to someones else. ‘Hey, you’ll never guess what he/she said…,’ ‘do they think we’re stupid or what?’ Alternatively, if we are on our own and can’t hold back, we may say to ourselves or out loud some version of ‘come off it, man!’
We are all probably familiar with the term ‘spin doctor.’ Here is the Wikipedia definition of ‘spin.’
‘In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through knowingly providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.‘
The standout keywords for me are, ‘propaganda,’ ‘biased,’ ‘disingenuous,’ ‘deceptive,’ and ‘highly manipulative.’
Let’s think about those keywords collectively for a moment. Do we like people not being open and honest with us? Do we like being manipulated and deceived? Do we like hearing just one side of the story? Alternatively, are we wary propaganda? Do we yearn for the truth? Are we not inspired more by those people whose vision, values, and, behaviours are honest and sincere?
Considering the need for integrity as opposed to ‘spin’ is essential because of how we need to communicate our strategy when making changes.
Change is a delicate subject. Anyone employed for any reasonable amount of time will have experienced change. The experience can often be stressful, especially if we are unsure of what the changes will be and how they will affect us. We can become anxious, stressed, harming both our work and home lives.
As leaders and managers, we can reduce these adverse effects by being as open and honest as possible. There are, of course, many situations where for confidential reasons we are unable to disclose certain information. However, there is a big difference holding some information back and actively ‘spinning’ a misleading message.
It is ironic that often, change is beneficial, both for the company and those who are impacted by the changes. In these situations, if we have been anxious, we have worried ourselves unnecessarily.
In managing change, the reasons for both the ‘change’ itself and the strategy to implement it need to be justified. People need to understand what is going on and how the changes will impact them.
In both business and personal communication, having strong ethical values and continually demonstrating personal integrity can go a long way in getting buy-in from people to your change initiatives.