Kubler-Ross Five Stage Model
§ Based on Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief in her book "On Death And Dying".
§ Represent the normal range of feelings people experience when dealing with change in their lives - or in the workplace.
§ The "Five stages" model is used to understand how people react to change at different times.
The ‘Kubler-Ross Change Curve’ model of individual change was developed in the late 1960’s. The following modules can be used to engage individuals through each of its phases, as well as develop broader organizational change capability.
- Shock: Surprise and shock at the announcement. ‘This can’t be happening”, “Why would they do that?”
- Denial: Disbelief, people will look for disconfirming evidence. “This can’t be true”, “It’ll blow over, it’s just another management fad.”
- Anger: Frustration when recognizing that things are or will be different “How can this happen to me?”, “Who’s to blame?”
- Bargaining: Avoiding the cause, or making offers to improve next time. “I promise to do it differently now.”
- Depression: resignation and lethargy. Low productivity on the job. “Why bother?”, “Why go on?”
- Acceptance: Integrating the changes, the individual lives and embraces a new world. “ It’s going to be okay”, “I may as well prepare for it.”
Thoughts into action
Putting all this together, here are some steps you can take to dramatically improve your change efforts now:
- Acknowledge feelings and empathize
- Give people as much information about the change as possible
- Say what will NOT change
- Treat the past with respect
- Give compelling reasons for change (both upside of the change and the downside of not changing)
- Provide focus and direction
- Strengthen people’s connections to each other
- Open up two-way communications
- Provide people with a specific role in the change process
- Make heroes of early adopters
- Provide visible symbols to reinforce change
- Ensure that individuals are recognized for their new behaviors
- Where possible implement quickly, show results and celebrate successes
- Adapt people and culture processes to support desired behaviors
- Build feedback mechanisms