As we integrate new processes into our work-streams, we are forced to flesh out new data policies to deal with new challenges. Because these emerging problems and solutions are new to everyone, the rules you introduce are often viewed with suspicion. Even when they are required for bona fide technical, operational, or ethical reasons, people often resent them, suspecting that they are overkill based on fear and conservatism. That resentment shows up as complaints, resistance or outright non-compliance. To succeed, your rules need buy-in from everyone involved. The reality is that in most organizations rule writers want to sound strict rather than disrespectful; however, they often focus solely on the content and pay no attention to the tone of voice. Whether they call them “policies,” “terms and conditions,” or simply “guidelines,” many of these documents read like angry parents scolding naughty children. Ultimately, the tension created by poorly drafted rules has a palpable impact on employee morale. This eye-opening session will make you rethink the way you word your written policies.
Lewis S Eisen, JD, CIP, CVP is the author of the international bestseller How to Write Rules that People Want to Follow: A guide to drafting respectful policies and directives. He combines his experience practising law with 20 years of IT consulting and 12 years experience in Information Management in the federal government by training Subject Matter Experts how to word policies so that other employees will embrace them. He is the 2020 recipient of the Britt Literary Award from ARMA International for a series of articles titled “Antiquated Policy Wording: Must, May, and Should.”