Better Listening Tools

Leading Change: Issues Clarification Process
  1. Develop an issues statement for the group to considerHave participants write down their concerns or issues. Indicate that they should write down any and all ideas and will not be forced to share them.
    1. For example, “What barriers or issues currently stand in the way of your success?”
  2. Have participants write down their concerns or issues. Indicate that they should write down any and all ideas and will not be forced to share them.
  3. Rapidly record on flip charts the concerns of those who volunteer to share them.
    1. Do not allow the group to stop and discuss any one idea. Every idea expressed is captured.
  4. Ask the group if any idea needs clarification…not debate.Ask  participants on their own to pick the top 3 to 5 priorities on the list.
    1. Use this time to organize or combine input.
  5. Ask  participants on their own to pick the top 3 to 5 priorities on the list.
  6. Then ask each participant to share their top priorities while you use an efficient method to gather the scoring. Note: most groups will zero in on the same few issues. There is some peer pressure involved in that, but that is OK. A small list of top priorities is a good outcome. A dispersed variety of concerns is harder to address.
  7. Ask if anyone feels that an important issues has been left off the list of top priorities. If so, what could they share with others that would result in the group changing their minds? Note: Seldom does the peer group change its mind. Often, this helps the lone complainer let go of their particular cause.
  8. Take this shorter list and ask the participants if they have any control over any part of that issue.You should take those priorities over which they have no control to a higher authority to see if there are any actions that could be taken to clear barriers that stand in the way of the group’s success. Note: Do not neglect this responsibility. A group in resistance to change can deal with you returning with a negative response. They will, however, become very frustrated with no response to their concerns. Do not do issues clarification unless you are willing to follow through on this.
    1.  If they do, it provides the opportunity to begin an action plan for that element of the issue. Action planning is forward thinking and helps participants let go of the resistance they were feeling about the change.
  9. You should take those priorities over which they have no control to a higher authority to see if there are any actions that could be taken to clear barriers that stand in the way of the group’s success. Note: Do not neglect this responsibility. A group in resistance to change can deal with you returning with a negative response. They will, however, become very frustrated with no response to their concerns. Do not do issues clarification unless you are willing to follow through on this.

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