Explore the Levels of Change Management

The Power of 3 Words: Tell Me More

Written by Karen Ball

2 Mins


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard words such as “compassion,” “grace” and “empathy” when talking about our attitude toward others. These words remind us of the humanity of our shared experience. But when we string together three different words, we can activate and demonstrate grace, compassion and empathy in our day-to-day lives. Those three words? “Tell me more.”

Words Can Change Everything

Being heard and understood are important for psychological safety in both our personal and professional lives. This was especially important during the COVID-19 crisis and continues to matter today as many people and organizations continue to face challenges they could not have imagined before. When we respond to someone’s problems or challenges by saying, “Tell me more” instead of jumping to solutions, we open a door to learning and connecting that can change everything.

Gain Clarity About Change

In addition to demonstrating compassion, grace and empathy for others in a psychological sense, “Tell me more” has a powerful way of helping us gain clarity. When trying to understand the technical details of a change, “Tell me more” clarifies the purpose and particulars. For example, when organizations focused on returning to the workplace, they needed to consider numerous technical components—getting to work safely, being at work safely, and doing our work safely. The what, when and how elements of each help us understand the change that will require adoption. 

With regard to the who element of the change, we say, “Tell me more about who has to change for the change to be successful.” Will certain impacted groups experience the change differently? Can we directly involve the people in those impacted groups to help define the change and its impact to help smooth adoption? When we ask these clarifying questions, we communicate more effectively and can be more responsive to the needs of impacted users—once again demonstrating compassion, grace and empathy.

Need to clarify context for a project? Try our 4 P’s exercise. It's a simple way to help project teams, senior managers and change sponsors connect change management to project success.

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Establish New Behaviors

The pandemic and other crises offer us a unique opportunity. We can embrace it to harness the knowledge and insights of employees, customers and colleagues, and propel ourselves forward. We can re-imagine the products and services we offer to meet customer and client needs. We can reconnect with our mission, vision and values as organizations as well as individuals within our organizations. We can establish new behaviors of listening, learning, and synthesizing what we hear into actionable insights—all by responding first with those three, enormously helpful words, “Tell me more.”

At Prosci, we are very clear on our vision, mission and values. We partner with clients to enable them to achieve their desired outcomes. Our strategic intent is to be globally recognized as your go-to partner for change success by collaborating with you and leveraging our holistic, research-based, easy-to-use solutions to deliver unforgettable experiences. Within the discipline of change management, wherever you are, whatever you need, wherever you're going, Prosci is here for you.

We have also been actively listening and learning. We value your insights. Will you tell us more? What are you thinking? What problems are you trying to solve? How can we walk alongside your journey as change practitioners, senior leaders or sponsors, people managers, project leaders, project teams, or professionals in related disciplines to help you drive change success? We look forward to hearing from you often. We are all in this together, and together we will be better as a result. 

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Karen Ball-Portuguese

Karen Ball-Portuguese

Karen Ball is a Prosci Senior Fellow, Executive Instructor, and Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP™). Her passion is delighting clients with innovative solutions that equip them for change success. Karen is a frequent author of Prosci thought leadership articles and blogs, webinar facilitator, and conference speaker who brings 35 years of experience and stories to in-person and virtual stages.

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