The Psychology of Change: Does it hold up?

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In 2016, I wrote this piece about the way to apply the Kübler-Ross stages of grief to organizational change, and made the case that a person’s needs change depending on their stage. The “dos and don’ts” definitely hold up.

It’s interesting to revisit this post-Covid. I thought maybe the complexity of the responses to the pandemic would make some of these thoughts seem overly simple. But I don’t think so. I witnessed a lot of people react poorly to some of the “don’ts”, especially those that minimized people’s concerns or pushed people to go “back to normal” too quickly.

In addition to that, pandemic or not, I still think too many leaders focus on the group in times of change or grief and miss the chance to attend to the relationship power of one-to-one management. Everyone handles change differently, and it’s a stressful time for leaders. It’s natural for you, as a leader, to want to find a solution that will work for everyone, but that’s less possible than usual in tough times. The good news? It’s a time for you to employ the power of building those individual relationships with each member of your team.

Come to think of it, that’s good counsel in any circumstance. Keep building relationships all the time, and see the power that results.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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