Every Pastor has done it. Said something. Written something. Then regretted everything. What now? Run? Deny? Stand and fight? Attack?
John Baldoni gives advice to businesses that mishandle reorganizations and downsizing in Good Recoveries from Bad Communications.
- Acknowledge the problem. People are upset and confused. You need to note their disgruntlement. To ignore it is to be as rude as the communications directive.
- Apologize. Take the high road. Even if the mistake was not yours, as part of management, you should accept blame and apologize. You may express sympathy but do not throw senior management under the bus. Doing so will only make you seem like a finger-pointer.
- Refocus on the reason for the communication. Explain the reason for the communication and why the initiative is necessary. This gets you past the poor delivery and focused on the business.
- Allow people to express their points of view. Let them vent. Sometimes reorganizations will bring personal hardship, such as more responsibilities, lack of additional compensation, or worse — loss of a job. You are allowed to acknowledge the pain.
- Refocus on the initiative. Put an end to the formal venting and refocus on the business case. Even though the communication was mishandled, the reasons for it may be sound. Stand up for the company.
Much here that could help Pastors in the midst of church troubles that have at least partly resulted from miscommunications. And above all, through all, ending all, of course, is prayer to our perfect Communicator and powerful Peacemaker.