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Negative Change – How Humans Respond to It (Part II)

change transformation trust the process-of-change negative change I How to cope with change how to be more resilient how to help others through change

Human Response to Negative Change. Know where you are on a curve. Learn how to cope with negative change and become more resilient.

This blog article is part of our Change & Transformation blog series. In a previous blog article we talked about the general Change Curve and how humans cope with change. 

We learned that the Change Curve describes the natural human response to change. However it is usually a very personal and individual one – regardless if facing good or bad change. It could take only seconds for some people to recognize any variation in their emotions when experiencing disruptive sudden change. For others, it might take longer – some hours, days, months. This is not a linear or step by step process either. It all depends on our personal resilience and on how we cope with sudden changes. 

Know the Change Curve to take Counter Actions

So what does this mean for us in real life to know the Change Curve?

Knowing the Change Curve allows us to:

  • understand that humans naturally strive for control and predictability. Humans tend to not like change per se – no matter if it’s good or bad change. They would rather keep the status quo.
  • accept that many things are out of our control range – and we can only control how to cope with and respond to it. 
  • acknowledge our emotional turmoil when we get impacted by a sudden change. It is totally fine to be emotional when facing change. And since we know the Change Curve now we can try to get an outside look on it and map out where we are on the curve currently and take counter actions with the intent to ease the transition and influence the adaption to change. Same applies when we want to help others go through change. 

We will cover in this blog article the counter actions that you can apply to yourself to help you smoother moving forward or to others to support their transition through negatively perceived and possibly even threatening change.

Support to overcome Negative Change and to influence for outcome

So what are the possible counter actions to support negative change impacts and influence for outcome following along the Change Curve we know already (Source: Kübler Ross Change Curve ®). What can we do if a negative change happens to us or to others around us in order to go through negative change and move on?

  1. SHOCK: Show empathy to the ones who experience shock (including yourself!).
  2. DENIAL: Encourage CAUTIOUS reality testing.  Look around to see what the facts are.
  3. FRUSTRATION: Legitimize feelings: It’s ok to feel frustrated.
  4. DEPRESSION: Encouraging support with solution focus. You need time to process. Eventually you will find a solution…
  5. TESTING: Nurture the spark of positivity! Eventually positivity and the need to move one comes. Nurture it. 
  6. ACCEPTANCE: Appreciation and integration. Reflect on what happened and how you moved on. Encourage it in others.

 

Change Curve Kübler-Ross

Progress is impossible without Change (even Negative Change)

“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. Perhaps, in a way, that's where humanity is now: about to discover we're not as smart as we thought we were, will be forced by life to surrender our attacks and defenses which avail us of nothing, and finally break through into the collective beauty of who we really are."

So let’s summarize the take aways:

  • Progress is impossible without change
  • Know the Change Curve – Be able to map the Status!! And also know how to support others in these different change phases.
  • Ask the right questions that enable and encourage reflection and own problem solving. Our MY NU WAYS Programs are designed to help you in these situations. They coach you through change, but they also enable you to build the communication & coaching skills, resilience and mindset you need in order to thrive and prosper in this ever changing world – and to become an Agent of Change!
  • Don’t be a stranger! Ask us a question if you need more information! We will be thrilled to chat with you!

In the last part of the Transformation blog post series we will discuss what counter actions are useful to support and influence for positive change. Yes, believe it or not – humans also refuse often to take on positive change…

So stay tuned!  See you soon! Stay safe, healthy and optimistic! 

Yours,

Melanie & Angelika

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