You have talked a lot on Change – managing change, change yourself, change in the organization, change in people behavior, change in culture, and what not ….

People react to Change. You should help organization to understand such reactions. Each of reactions is,

  • Denial – A sense of disbelief or refusal to accept change.
  • Anger – When people start to accept change, denial turns into resentment or fear.
  • Bargaining – A turning point for acceptance of change. People start to test and explore, for either resolve or put off.
  • Depression – People are become more aware of reality of situation; and any losses associated with the change. They feel depressed.
  • Acceptance – a resigned attitude towards the change and a willingness to get on with it.

You will have to follow the process for implementing desired changes.

  1. Denial – You have to convince the organization that people need time to adjust.

Discuss the change proposal with staff.

Give them the necessare information and support.

Help them to understand the implications of what’s happening.

  1. Anger – Be forewarned that the organization can’t pre-empt all of objections.

Make sure to listen to people expressing their objections for minimizing their anger.

  1. Bargaining – Understand that this is not the beginning of the end. Successful outcomes can propel people into acceptance. But here, people cannot be complacent.
  2. Depression – Watch for signs of demotivation or uncertainty. People may quit or become unproductive. It is critical in that whether to abandon the change.
  3. Acceptance – Those who succeed and jump from Bargaining, indicate that Change is going to happen. While those coming from depression, have reluctant acceptance. The organization should deal with them sensitively.

Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise


Adapted from the Grief model of Coaching by Elisabeth Kubleber-Ross





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