Fast moving change has become the norm in all walks of life with technology leading the rapid changes in how we communicate and work.
Within organisations people’s performance improves if they develop proactive techniques to handle change, learn to set realistic and flexible goals and have the resilience to recover from set-backs. We help people develop all three.
Knowing how change affects you, and having strategies to move you though the process allows you to remain mentally tough.
Change can be an intentional change or a surprise that gets thrust upon you.
Knowing what the typical stages of reaction to change helps to put the feelings associated with them into a context and also allow you to make adjustments to move to a point of acceptance sooner.
If you are making major changes and you want to know how to manage the effect referring to the change curve of Kubler-Ross is useful. It gives a good understanding of how we tend to move from shock to denial, through anger and resistance to acceptance.
The time it takes to move through these stages varies. According to Alexander & Scott (1994) People adapt to change at three speeds.
The fastest is Physical – which is the time it takes to comply with the behaviour requirements of a change.
Then Intellectual – the time it takes to comprehend why a change has taken place.
And the slowest is Emotional – which is the time it takes to feel comfortable with the new state.
It may well take a while for people to get emotionally comfortable with a change, and this is an important factor in motivation and staff retention. It is very easy as a leader to think that a change has happened successfully as the physical signs of compliance are there and forget to check regularly after changes that the intellectual and emotional acceptance is occurring.
If it isn’t then using techniques such as reframing and perspective changing can help people to move to acceptance faster and feel more comfortable with the new reality of a situation.
If you are interested in developing your leadership or creating more effective teams we would love to have a conversation.