It’s no coincidence that the word ‘change’ fits into the word ‘challenge’. Change is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or unpredictable.
We all face changes in our lives. Whether on a personal level or at work, change is inevitable.
By taking a deeper dive into the dynamics of the human change process, we can better understand our reluctance to change or the steps where the change process breaks.
For most people, it’s not the idea of change itself that is so daunting, but rather the transition phases of the cycle where there is nothing to hold on to. Think about the last time you faced a serious change. Then look at this diagram and ask yourself how you moved through each phase.
Here is a diagram that shows the 6 stages of change.
Stage 1 follows immediately after change has taken place. It is characterized by feelings of loss and fear. Those affected by the change are likely to feel paralyzed and disempowered by the change that has taken place.
Stage 2 is a period of negative thought and doubt. Individuals tend to feel resentful of the change that has occurred and they will actively resist embracing the change around them.
Stage 3 is a passive stage characterized by feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Those affected by the change are likely to be unproductive and feel as if they are powerless to determine the outcome of events.
The danger zone in the change cycle lies between stages three and four. Change management is essential to ensure that individuals make the transition from stage three to stage four.
Stage 4 signals a shift to positive thinking surrounding change. A creative atmosphere surfaces and participants are likely to feel energized and excited about new possibilities.
Stage 5 brings greater understanding of the change process. Productive behavior returns and participants feel greater confidence about the change that has occurred.
Stage 6 refers to the final integration of change into the new way of working. Because participants understand the necessity of the change that has taken place, there is a feeling of satisfaction and a commitment to ensure full integration.
Change management is the facilitation of a structured period of transition from a current, as-is state to a future situation in order to achieve sustainable change.
Effective change management ensures that change takes place within predictable parameters, without causing unnecessary confusion or anxiety. Click here to see how we can help you manage change.
* Diagram source: SMC Group
Portions reproduced by special permission from ProjectXChange