Managing the Mechanics, Managing the Panics

Filed under: — Bravus @ 2:24 pm

There are some changes in one of our teacher education programs at the university I work at. They will only affect students in the first and second years of the 4 year degree, and we’re planning to meet with those cohorts to explain the changes. A colleague suggested that we also meet with the third years. There is no substantive impact on them, but the rumor mill has been running about changes to their program and they’re stressed and asking questions. Reassuring them will end up as less stress for them and less work for everyone who has to field their questions.

It was a good lesson for me: it’s not enough to make the changes work, you need to also manage perceptions and anxieties and people’s reactions to the changes. I’m usually OK at the empathy thing, but just being aware of these two related facets and attending to them both more consciously will be helpful.