Where there is change, there will often be resistance and challenges. The Kubler-Ross change curve illustrates how the process of change manifests itself in human behaviour. Originally created to show an understanding of how people process loss and grief, it has since developed to show how people react to any change in their life.
Whilst the curved graphic shows what appears will be a linear move through stages, the reality is, people do not simply follow the line through stages, they will move around throughout the process and often revert to earlier stages. The ability to support people and convince them of the need for change and showing an understanding of strategies for change will be key skills for those tasked with leading through change.
In the workplace
As a change Management consultant knows, you should understand not all of your working team or organisation will react the same to change. The most successful change managers will deal with challenges of the change curve by realising and accepting that change affects people in different ways and the way they handle it will vary amongst individuals. The group will not all move together, and time spent listening can be as wisely spent as taking action.
Connecting with individuals
It’s vital not to be tempted to employ a one size fits all policy. Understanding each person as an individual will help you understand why some may be engaging, managing and moving forward, when others are not. Being able to identify who may need additional support, time and understanding to manage is key. Many may be struggling with additional life issues, and not just the work changes, often many will have other issues outside of work, requiring their time and energy. 2020 has been a year where so many people will have seen some of the most dramatic and fast changes than any other time, and may react to change differently as a result and not how you would usually expect them to. Whilst change managers cannot always take away these worries and stresses, learning, listening and understanding will help you to feel less frustrated when things do not move as smoothly as you would like.
Focus on the positives
Channelling your team to focus on the positives, encouraging their energy towards what they do have control over and allowing them to shape how the changes affect them can reduce negative reactions and resistance. Removing as much sense of loss and feeling of not being in control, as your process allows will encourage a more positive response.