What happens to you when “change” happens?
As we are all unique individuals it is both difficult to assess what is considered a small change and what is considered to be a substantial life changing change. We all deal with change differently.
The seven stages an individual will go through when faced with a change are outlined below.
Stage 1 Shock
We need to time to recognise what is happening.
For a time we may appear to do nothing or very little – perhaps not even coping. A range of reactions may be experienced or observed of others. An explanation for this:
- we do not have enough information about the new situation
- we are afraid of getting it wrong and appearing stupid
- our fear of the unknown shows up as numbness
- we may lack the motivation to make the change work
e.g. In a restructuring / redundancy situation this often happen when people are given the news – It can manifest itself as extreme reactions such as angry outbursts, some people become speechless whilst others feel the need to escape what is happening
Stage 2 Denial
We deny what is happening.
- we are reluctant to try out new ideas
- we are simply custom bound or in a rut
- We fear failure and expect that what worked in the past should work now.
- we feel a threat to our level of ability and skill
e.g. In a restructuring / redundancy situation this means that some people carry on with their jobs as normal, like it isn’t really happening. Often people in a redundancy situation carry on doing their role right to the last minute.
Stage 3 Resistance
We go through a period of frustration. We recognise that we need to move on but do not know how to, often clinging onto what we feel comfortable with and resisting anything that may be new. We may fail to get satisfactory help and support.
Feeding the frustration will be:
- potential overload due to a genuine need to learn new approaches;
- fear of losing status through having to start again;
- loss of our power base and /or network of contacts i.e. our friends and colleagues
e.g. in a restructuring / redundancy situation this is when people fight what is happening to them often challenging the reasons, coming up with proposals to avoid job losses. Also people refuse to look for new jobs or to accept careers help and support.
Stage 4 Acceptance/ learning to cope
We let go of our old attitudes and behaviours that were comfortable and useful in the past. We now have the answers from STAGE 3 and can start the process of acquiring new patterns. We begin to test new ways of doing things, we learn from trial and error. There will still be moments of frustration when our new skills are not quite practiced enough or we have not identified all areas we lack knowledge.
This phase represents our move psychologically, into our own personal learning cycle. We begin to experiment actively but there will be temporary problems as we try out new approaches.
e.g. in a restructuring/ redundancy situation people begin to focus on their individual futures and start to look for a new job.
Stage 5 Development
We move on as we become increasingly comfortable and competent at operating in our changed environment. Our self-esteem begins to rise.
e.g. in a restructuring/ redundancy situation people begin to obtain jobs / interviews and begin to feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Stage 6 Application
We consolidate our identity in our new futures. We resolve in our own minds the questions about our status, our beliefs about the situation and our view of the world around us. In particular we work out how we fit into the new scheme of things.
e.g. in a restructuring/ redundancy situation we begin to look forward to our new future and feel motivated by the new challenge.
Stage 7 Completion
We now feel comfortable and competent once again – so much so we are no longer conscious of having experienced a transition. We really are into our new situation and have ceased to compare it, positively or negatively with our old situation before the change.
e.g. In a restructuring /redundancy situation this is when people have moved on and have began to be less emotional about the redundancy situation
The difference between people is the rate they go through the stages in the change process.
Some people move through the stages very quickly, some people get stuck at the first stage or the first few stages.
Some people need lots of support, other people appear to cope. It’s completely personal and individual.
Time to Reflect:
How does change impact on you and how do you cope? How do people around you cope with change? Let me know. Check out my Blog “Quick Tips: Boost your ability to cope with Change”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Denise on January 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm, and is filed under Change, Coaching, Stress. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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