How to Talk About That Big Change Project With Your Team

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on February 28, 2022

This blog post is part of our Truity at Work series for those who are new to people management. In these posts, we’re creating useful content for managers and teams alike, helping you to understand personality, improve communication, and navigate conflict and change with ease. For an overview of the series, start with our introductory post here.

One of the struggles of being a frontline or middle manager is that you often get handed part of a change project from senior leadership and asked to get your team onboard, with little ability to influence the outcome. It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, wanting to be on board but also making sure you can give your team the support they need.

And, rarely are you ever handed a fully thought-out change project. It’s either a detailed plan with no vision, or a vision with no plan. Which means someone on your team is going to struggle to get on board. 

So here is a simple framework you can use to know what information you have, and questions you can ask your team or your manager in order to make sure everyone knows what is going on.

  1. NF’s - where are we going?

Intuitive-Feelers (those with NF in their Typefinder four-letter code) are the least tangible of the four types, and so they want the least tangible information of all - they just want the vision. They want to know the general direction the organization is going in and how people are going to feel about it. 

They will ask questions like:

  • Who is impacted by this?
  • How will this be communicated?
  • Will this be a pleasant experience?
  • How does this benefit the organization and its employees?
  • Is this aligned to our values?
  1. NT’s - why are we going there?

Intuitive-Thinkers (those with NT in their Typefinder four-letter code) are looking to know the why behind the direction, and the overall strategy for getting there. They are looking to see that the decision is based on sound principles by people who know what they are doing. 

They ask questions like:

  • How did you come to this decision?
  • Why now?
  • Have you considered…?
  • How did you get around the problem of…?
  1. ST’s - how are we getting there?

Sensor-Thinkers (those with ST in their Typefinder four-letter code) will get on board a chance project once they have seen the detailed plan. They are looking for a specific, accurate plan that covers the what, when, how and who of the project. 

They ask questions like:

  • Who is doing what?
  • When does this need to be done by?
  • How much will this cost?
  • Can you be more specific?
  1. SF’s - how are we supporting people?

Sensor-Feelers (those with SF in their Typefinder four-letter code) are concerned about how people will be supported throughout the change project, particularly those who are directly impacted. They know that people need time to adjust to change, and they want to make sure people are cared for during what is often a difficult and challenging time adjusting to a new normal. 

They ask questions like:

  • Who is directly affected?
  • How are we supporting them?
  • Are people being given time to adjust?
  • How are we going to celebrate the past?
  • Are the communications going to be personalized?  

Talking to your team

When you know your team’s personality types, you can anticipate the kind of questions you are likely to get. The above framework can help you prepare for the discussion with your team by answering the questions for yourself, and then seeking information for the ones you can’t answer before you talk to your team.

However, some change projects are launched without anyone knowing they are coming. If that’s the case you will know as much as your team does, so use this framework as a team exercise to determine what you actually know and what you need to know in order to move forward. This will help your team feel more in control and a part of the process. 

To figure out how best to talk to your team, head over to the Truity at Work Platform. We have a range of easy-to-use personality assessments that are specifically tailored to the workplace.  If you are ready to go beyond the TypeFinder for the Workplace assessment, we offer a custom training session to walk you and your team through their strengths in a live, facilitated Zoom-based workshop. Click here to book your sessions today. 

Samantha Mackay

Samantha is the Lead Trainer at Truity and will shortly be a certified Enneagram Coach. She believes our personality is the key to navigating life's strangest hurdles. Despite her best efforts Samantha is an ENTP and Enneagram 7, who is always surrounded by a pile of books, a steaming cup of tea and a block of her favourite chocolate. Samantha is currently studying with Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes of CP Enneagram Academy undertaking their Professional Enneagram Certification. Currently located in Auckland, New Zealand. Find her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthamackay/. Check out her course "Unlocking the Power of Your Personality" at www.truity.com/training

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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