Presentation - Career Prospectors

Understanding Emotional Responses
to Change and Transition
Sara L. Gaba
Renaissance Resources
Where organizations are grown one leader at a time
[email protected]
Thoughts on Change
• It is inevitable
• All change even those longed for have
their melancholy
• Often thought to be imposed by others
• Humanely, we naturally resist change
Models of Change
• Provide a framework within which to
• Allow a language to talk about the
change and in some ways make it
more manageable
Kubler-Ross Framework
Response to a Negative Change
Immobilization – shock, confusion.
Denial – ignores the changes or its consequences.
Anger – based on feelings of frustration and hurt.
Bargaining – seeks to minimize impact of the change,
this signals the beginning of acceptance.
Depression –may perceive the situation as beyond
their control and display lack of energy or interest.
Testing- sees ways where s/he can regain some
measure of control, test news ways of coping with
new reality.
Acceptance - fully accepts change although s/he may
not like it.
Kubler-Ross Framework
Response To A Negative Change
Emotional Response
Graphic from Daryl R. Connor,
Managing At The Speed Of Change
Response to a Positive Change
• Uniformed Optimism – High expectations not based on
• Informed Optimism – Reality of change becomes clear,
may have second thoughts and doubts. The change can
be rejected at this phase, if not prepared for this phase.
• Hopeful Realism – As expected positive outcomes
emerge, the individual concerns decline. Hope.
• Informed optimism – Confidence grows as the facts point
to a positive outcome. One’s expectations are being met.
• Completion – Realizes even positive change brings
Change Responses
Response To A Positive Change
Informed Pessimism
Hopeful Realism
Informed Optimism
Uninformed Optimism
Graphic from Daryl R. Connor,Managing At The Speed Of .
Change Responses
You will always get resistance to
any major change whether is
perceived as a negative or positive
William Bridges Model
• Change is a discreet event – where
one thing stops and another starts
• Transition is a process – a gradual,
psychological reorientation with natural
emotional experiences
• Understanding this distinction helps us
understand our responses to change.
Bridges Model
New Beginnings
Neutral Zone
• A change has to take place, before this can
happen it must also occur at the
psychological level, not the legal or physical,
the old has to let go. That is what we find
hard. You can not move from this stage until
you acknowledge the loss.
Questions asked at this stage
– Who now has the power?
– How are decision going to be made?
– Which of the old rules apply and what are the
new ones?
Helping each other in the Endings
• Establish what will change and what will stay the same
• Get involved with the change, the more one stays
outside the change the more it will feel like something
being done to you. Ask each other how you can
increase your involvement in the change
Encourage mourning by naming what has ended. Ask,
“What will you miss most?”
Celebrate the ending, just like funerals help survivors
realize the person is gone, so will a party mark the end
of a past.
Help each other prepare for the new beginning
Neutral Zone
• Similar to the Kubler –Ross framework’s
Life feels like continuous whitewater
Lack of energy and withdraw from others
Become prone to illness and accident
Can be a time of rethinking and creativity
because we have an overt longing for answers
“It is the winter during which the spring’s new
growth is taking shape under the earth”
Helping each other through the
Neutral Zone
• Remind each other, the inevitable discomforts of this
phase are a positive opportunity to learn
Encourage the thought that having “nothing to do” is
untrue. The task ahead is to concentrate on preparing
for the future.
Develop creativity, use brainstorming and other right
brain thinking to address the challenges of this phase
Encourage reflection, help each other see setbacks
are often the point where new solutions to old
problems emerge
Keep networking and cultivate your social and faith
relationships to ward off isolation thinking.
New Beginnings
• The official new start and the psychological beginning
are two different processes
A new beginning can feel daunting, similar to
response to a positive change
One can wonder if it is “real” or not?
The new is unknown – what will it take to be
It is normal to feel doubts about competence at this
stage and sometimes to experience a dip in
confidence until the new situation becomes clear.
Helping each other in the New
Beginnings Stage
• Encourage planning, gathering information, imagining,
visualization, thinking and preparing. Ask each other
to imagine a typical successful day in the new job:
what would be happening?
What new skills will you need? How many of those
skills do you have? How can you acquire or develop
what is missing?
Getting involved in the change will counter feelings of
lack of control. How could you be wholly involved in
this new life?
As with endings, never miss the chance to give a
Bridges model description and coping/encouragement suggestions adapted from Coaching
Skills – A handbook by Jenny Rogers and Solution-Focused Coaching by Jane Greene and
Anthony Grant
Last thoughts
• Change is inevitable but temporary
• There are natural emotional and
psychological responses to change
Change frameworks help to understand the
change process and demystify it
Change is not happening to you, you will
manage the change
Support is needed for going through the
change, ask for it and give that support to
Questions and Answers
Thank you for time
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