It’s Okay To… find change difficult

By Julia Davies, Senior Change Manager, Change and Improvement Team

It’s also okay to find change exciting and energising. The fact is that as people, we respond to change in different ways depending on our unique experiences. How we respond to change at one time may be very different to how we respond the next time. Understanding our own response, and the responses of those around us, can help to bring people together and build energy for change.

Some people find it reassuring to look at the Kubler-Ross ‘change curve’. This demonstrates the emotions that people often experience with change; not everyone will experience all these emotions, and that is okay. Some people will spend a long time in one stage of the change curve and may even go backwards along the curve before going forward again, and that is also okay. What is important is understanding that a variety of reactions to change is normal and is part of a psychological process. If we can understand this in ourselves and in our colleagues, we can work effectively and supportively together.

It is also interesting to consider the difference between change and transition. Change is an external event, whereas transition is a psychological process that a person experiences when moving from one state to another. This process can be quick and easy for some, but others experience a challenging time letting go of the past and adjusting to whatever the required future state may be. For leaders and managers, it is important to recognise that people will be going through this stage of transitioning from the old to the new at different rates. Most will get there in the end but there are things that we can do to support people and help them to move from ‘a’ to ‘b’. The change team can help with this.

Whatever your reaction to change or the reactions of your colleagues, it’s  okay, and we have a change team here to support managers and leaders in understanding their team’s response to change and planning effectively. For more information and advice, follow our Yammer page ‘Changing Times’, visit our intranet site, or book a change clinic appointment with a qualified change manager.  We also have some top tips for individuals on coping with change.


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