Negative Response To Change

cf.: Positive Response to Change
cf: Methods for dealing with resistance to change (Kotter)

On P. 132, Conner outlines 8 stages that people go through when dealing with change for which they have a negative response.  His stages are modeled on the 5 stages identified by ElisabethKubler-Ross from “On Death and Dying”

  1. Stability (Connor)
    Status quo, prior to first Contact with the change.
  2. Immobilization (Connor)
    Shock.  Temporary confusion to complete disorientation.
  3. Denial
    An inability to assimilate new information into the current frame of reference.
    “If I ignore it, it will go away.”
  4. Anger
    Blame, criticism, hostility, frustration, indiscriminate lashing out.
  5. Bargaining
    Requests for deadline extensions, reassignments, etc.
    This stage signals that avoidance is no longer possible.
    This is the beginning of acceptance.
  6. Depression
    Resignation to failure, feeling victimized, a lack of emotional and physical energy, disengagement from one’s work.
    The full weight of the negative change is being acknowledged.
  7. Testing (Connor)
    Acknowledge the new limitations while exploring ways to redefine goals.
    Experiment with ways to succeed in the new framework.
  8. Acceptance
    Targets no respond to the change realistically.
    This is NOT the same as liking it.

When someone gets stuck at one or more of the phases above, dysfunctional behavior typically escalates and can eat up an inordinate amount of” Assimilation Points”


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